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JOSEPH L. J. KSSiiXN \] rj^\ 

Priest of the At chdiocese of Ph%klp1iia, 

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NtfjU nbatat 

Jacobus F. Loughlin 
Censor Librorum 



Archiep. Philadelphien. 
Die 20 Augum^ iqoq. 

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THE aim of the writer in the following pages has been to consider 
the Church, not as a thing apart, but as a vital factor in the City's 
life, influencing and being influenced in its turn by the various ele- 
ments of a great and growing municipality. 

In narrating the multitudinous activities of the period of more than 
two hundred and fifty years since the coming of William Penn and his 
founding of the City of Brotherly Love, the ever-present difficulty has been 
what to select and what to reject from the superabundance of material at 
hand. In many cases the only way out of this embarrassment was to recite 
the facts — even at the risk of giving many tedious details — and leave the 
reader to judge of their relative bearing and importance. In this view the 
story contained in the following chapters necessarily embraces many events 
apparently extraneous, yet such as affected the progress of the Church. 

The plan followed has been to trace in chronological sequence as far 
as possible the gradual growth of Catholicity in the City of Philadelphia, 
from the visits of the first missionaries down to our own day. The organi- 
zation of each of the pioneer parishes is given in its setting in the general 
narrative. After the establishment of the Hierarchy in 1808, the record 
of the administration of each of the six Ordinaries of the See follows the 
main events of his time; whilst at the close of the rule of each is found a 
sketch of the new parishes which he organized. In the first Appendix the 
later development of the several congregations is taken up singly and fol- 
lowed to date, and an account given of the many new parishes founded by 
the present Archbishop since his coming to Philadelphia in 1884. To con- 
fine within one volume the history of so many distinct units necessarily means 
that little more than a chronicle of each of the modern parishes can be 
given. Nor indeed is more required in a work of this character, especially 
as each congregation has already published or is preparing to publish the 
detailed account of its foundation and development. 

Appreciative acknowledgment is made most gratefully to Mr. Martin 
I. J. Griffin, to whose untiring research is due in great part the discovery 
of the documents on which this narrative is based; to the Librarian and other 
officers of the Congressional Library at Washington, to Mr. Gregory Keen 
of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, and to the Librarian and other officers 
of the Catholic Historical Society for their courtesy and kindness in giving 
access to their documents; and, finally, to His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons 
for permission to copy letters contained in the Baltimore archives. 


CHAPTER I. page 

Pennsylvania Before the Coming of Penn 1 

Pennsylvania Founded on Religious Liberty 8 

The First Catholics of Pennsylvania. — "Father Smith" . . 14 

The First Priest to Visit Pennsylvania. — "The Old 
Priest" 18 

The First Converts and the Public Celebration of Mass. 
— The First Pastor 23 

The Founding of Old St. Joseph's 34 

The Spanish-English War. — Fathers Neale, Schneider, 

and Wappler. — The Sir John James Fund 43 

Spanish and French Wars. — Anti-Catholic Sentiment. — 

Security of Catholics 53 

Dr. John Michael Brown. — The Chapels in Nicetown 

Lane ,. 63 


Rev. Robert Harding. — French and Indian Wars. — The 

Acadians 75 

Father Harding. — The Founding of St. Mary's.— Father 
Farmer 87 

Father Molyneux. — The War of the Revolution. — First 

Catholic Parish School 97 

The Condition of the Church After the Revolution. — 

Confirmation in Philadelphia 114 

The Founding of Holy Trinity 123 

St. Mary's Incorporated. — The Yellow Fever. — The Two 
Fathers Keating. — Father Fleming. — Co-adjutor 
Bishop 1 30 

The Schism at Holy Trinity. — The Establishment of St. 
Augustine's. — The Alien Acts and Riot at St. Mary's. 
— Lottery for St. Augustine's. — Death of George 
Washington. — Dedication of St. Augustine's. — Parish 
Boundaries of St. Mary's and St. Augustine's 151 

Lottery for Holy Trinity Church. — Father Elling Leaves 
Holy Trinity. — Father Adam Britt, S. J. — Father An- 
thony Kohlman, S. J. — Rehabilitation of the Jesuits 
in America. — Charter Granted to St. Augustine's. — 
Some Baptisms and Marriage Records of St. Augus- 
tine's. — St. Mary's Under Father Egan, O. S. F. — The 
Yellow Fever. — The Free School. — The Choir. — St. 
Mary's Cemetery, Thirteenth and Spruce Streets 1 73 


Establishment of American Hierarchy. — Consecration of 
Bishop Concanen. — Delay in Transmission of Bulls. — 
The Rev. William Vincent Harold. — Enlargement of 
St. Mary's Church. — St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum. — 
Private Schools in Philadelphia. — Consecration of 
the Bishops of Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown. 
— Council of Bishops at Baltimore 1 85 

Administration of Bishop Egan. — Installation of Bishop 
Egan. — St. Mary's Enlarged and Improved. — Troubles 
with Trustees. — First Episcopal Visitation of the Dio- 
cese. — Financial Difficulties of St. Mary's Trustees., 
— The Bishop and the Harolds. — Return of the Har- 
olds to Ireland. — Death of Bishop Egan 1 95 

Administration of the Diocese by Rev. Louis deBarth, 
V. G. — Difficulties of Securing a Bishop for Phila- 
delphia. — Activity of the Haroldites. — Arrival of 
Rev. William Hogan in Philadelphia, and His Appoint- 
ment at St. Mary's 210 

Administration of Bishop Conwell. — His Early Life. — His 
Installation. — Suspension of Father Hogan. — The Be- 
ginning of the Hogan Schism. — Ordinations in Phila- 
delphia. — St. Joseph's Established as a Separate Par- 
ish. — Excommunication of Hogan. — Bishop Conwell's 
Action Approved by Archbishop Mareschal. — St. 
Mary's in Possession of the Hoganites. — Attempt of 
the Hoganites to Establish Schismatic Church in the 
United States 219 

Administration of Bishop Conwell (Continued). — Bishop 
England. — Decision of the Supreme Court Adverse to 
Trustees. — Return of Rev. William Harold to Phila- 
delphia. — Hoganites and Bishopites. — Brief of Pope 
Pius VII on Hoganism. — Rev. Angelo Inglesi. — Hogan 
Leaves Philadelphia. — Rev. Thaddeus O'Mealey. — 
Bishop's Cemetery. — Hogan Finally Discredited and 
His Later Life. — Review of Hoganism 229 



Administration of Bishop Conwell (Continued). — Trustee 
Troubles Again. — The Rev. Fr. O'Mealey's Recanta- 
tion at Rome. — Bishop Kenrick's Settlement With 
Trustees. — 'The Vindicators of the Catholic Relig- 
ion from Calumny and Abuse." — Ordinations. — Trou- 
ble With Father Harold. — Trustee Settlement Con- 
demned by Rome. — End of Trusteeism. — Bishop Con- 
well in Rome. — Baltimore Council. — Appointment of 
Bishop Kenrick as Co-adjutor of Philadelphia. — Re- 
call of Bishop Conwell 246 


Administration of Bishop Kenrick. — Early Life of Bishop 
Kenrick. — His Consecration and Taking Charge in 
Philadelphia. — Visitation and Ordinations. — Trustee 
Troubles. — Founding of Parishes of St. John the 
Evangelist and St. John the Baptist. — Death of Ste- 
phen Girard. — Diocesan Synod. — Founding of St. 
Charles's Seminary. — Cholera Epidemic and Sisters of 
Charity. — Jesuits Reinstated at St. Joseph's 267 


Administration of Bishop Kenrick (Continued). — Founding 
of St. Michael's Parish. — The Bishop's Visitation of 
His Diocese. — Diocesan Report of the Propaganda in 
1838. — The Seminary Receives Charter. — Is Moved to 
Eighteenth and Race Streets. — The Rev. John 
Hughes Appointed Co-adjutor Bishop of New York. — 
St. Vincent's Home for Boys. — The Pastors of Holy 
Trinity. — St. Mary's Moyamensing Cemetery. — St. Au- 
gustine's Cemetery. — St. John's Vaults. — St. Au- 
gustine's Parish. — Death of Father Hurley. — Found- 
ing of St. Francis Xavier's Parish. — Founding of St. 
Patrick's. — Founding of St. Philip's. — Consecration of 
Bishop Lefevre and Bishop Peter Richard Kenrick. — 
Founding of St. Peter's. — Founding of St. Paul's. — 
Founding of St. Stephen's. — Appointment of the Rev. 
Michael O'Connor as First Bishop of Pittsburg 283 


Administration of Bishop Kenrick (Continued). — Native 
American Riots. — Remote Causes of the Riots. — Vari- 
ous Disorders and Riots in City, and Environs. — Vol- 
unteer Hose Companies. — Organization of Native 
American Lodges. — The Bible in the Public Schools. — 
Burning of St. Michael's Church and Convent. — 
Burning of St. Augustine's. — Grand Jury Report. — 
Protest of Catholics Against this Report. — Corre- 
spondence on the Subject 304 

Administration of Bishop Kenrick (Continued). — The 
Southwark Riots. — Attack on St. Philip's Church. — 
City Under Martial Law. — Public Sentiment Con- 
demns Nativism. — Damage Suits Against the City and 
County for Burning St. Augustine's and St. Michael's. 
— Bishop Kenrick's Visitation. — His Visit to Rome. — 
Report of Diocese. — Jubilee of Pius IX. — Diocesan 
Synod. — Visitation Nuns. — Sisters of the Good Shep- 
herd 330 

Administration of Bishop Kenrick (Continued). — St. 
Philip's Parish School. — St. Michael's Rebuilt. — St. 
Peter's, St. Anne's, St. Joachim's, the Cathedral, the 
Assumption B. V. M., the Assumption B. V. M. (Mana- 
yunk, St. Vincent's de Paul's (Germantown), St. Dom- 
inic's (Holmesburg), St. James's, St. Malachy's 
Founded. — Bishop Kenrick Made Archbishop of Bal- 
timore, Primate of the United States. 340 

Administration of Bishop Neumann. — Early Life of Bishop 
Neumann. — Consecrated Bishop of Philadelphia. — 
Apostolic Labors. — Plenary Council of Baltimore. — 
Diocesan Clergy Placed in Charge of Seminary. — Dio- 
cesan Synod. — Forty Hours' Devotion Introduced in 
Diocese. — Bishop Neumann's Visit to Rome. — Eighth 
Provincial Council of Baltimore. — Consecration of 
Bishop Wood, Co-adjutor Bishop of Philadelphia. — 
Bishop Wood in Charge of Cathedral Building. — Dio- 


cesan Synod. — Erection of Cathedral Chapel. — Pre- 
paratory Seminary at Glen Riddle. — Founding of St. 
Mary Magdalen de Pazzi's Parish, Our Mother of 
Sorrows', St. Teresa's, St. Alphonsus's, Our Mother 
of Consolation. — Death of Bishop Neumann. 352 

Administration of the Right Rev. James Frederick Wood, 
D. D., Fifth Bishop of Philadelphia. — Early Life of 
the Bishop. — Condition of the Diocese at the Begin- 
ning of His Administration. — Annunciation B. V. M., 
All Saints', Parishes Founded. — War of the Rebel- 
lion. — Cathedral Opened for Divine Services. — Found- 
ing of St. Clement's, St. Agatha's, St. Edward's, St. Bon- 
ifacius's. — Seminary Transferred to Overbrook. — Con- 
secration of St. Michael's Church. — Second Plenary 
Council of Baltimore. — Bishop Wood's Visit to Rome. 370 


Administration of the Right Rev. James Frederick Wood, 
D.D. (Continued). — Establishment of the Sees of 
scranton and harrisburg. — consecration of blshops 
O'Hara and Shanahan. — Removal of the Bodies of 
Bishops Egan and Conwell to the Cathedral Crypt. — 
Tenth Provincial Council of Baltimore. — North 
American College Established in Rome. — Bishop 
Wood's Visit to Rome to Attend the Vatican Council. 
— Philadelphia Raised to a Metropolitan See and 
Bishop Wood Made Archbishop. — The Archbishop's 
Visit to Rome. — Death of Pius IX. — Collection for 
"Irish Famine." — First Provincial Council of Phila- 
delphia. — Archbishop Wood's Silver Jubilee. — Death 
of Archbishop Wood. — Parishes Founded After the 
Partition of the Diocese: St. Charles Borromeo's; The 
Gesu; Immaculate Conception B. V. M. ; Maternity B. 
V. M.; Sacred Heart; St. Elizabeth's; Our Lady of 
the Visitation; St. Veronica's 383 

Administration of the Most Rev. Patrick John Ryan, D. D., 
LL. D., Sixth Bishop and Second Archbishop of Phila- 
delphia. — His Early Life. — Appointment to the See of 


Philadelphia. — Receptions of Welcome. — Invested 
With Pallium. — Diocesan Synod. — The Archbishop's 
Work for the Indians. — Establishment of the Pro- 
tectory for Homeless Boys 405 

A Brief Account in Chronological Order of the Older 
Parishes Showing Their Growth to the Year 1909; 
Also a Sketch of the New Parishes Organized Be- 
tween the Years 1884-1909 431 


List of Priests of the Archdiocese from 1832-1909 511 

Index 541 

The Most Rev. Patrick John Ryan, D. D., LL.D. 
The Right Rev. Michael Egan, O. S. F. 
The Right Rev. Henry Conwell, D. D. 
The Most Rev. Francis Patrick Kenrick, D. D. 
The Venerable John Nepomucene Neumann, C. SS. R. 
The Most Rev. James Frederick Wood, D. D. 
The Right Rev. Edmond F. Prendergast, D. D., V. G. 
The Right Rev. Monsignor James P. Turner, D. D., V. G., Prot. Ap. 
The Right Rev. Monsignor James A. Corcoran, D. D. 
The Right Rev. Monsignor Nicholas Cantwell. 
The Right Rev. Monsignor Patrick J. Garvey, D. D. 
The Right Rev. Monsignor James F. Loughlin, D. D. 
The Right Rev. Monsignor William Kieran, D. D. 
The Right Rev. Monsignor Nevin F. Fisher. 
The Right Rev. Jeremiah Francis Shanahan, D. D. 
The Right Rev. William O'Hara, D. D. 
The Right Rev. Ignatius Horstmann, D. D. 
The Right Rev. John E. Fitzmaurice, D. D. 
The Right Rev. John W. Shanahan, D. D. 
The Right Rev. Dennis J. Dougherty, D. D. 
The Right Rev. Thomas F. Kennedy, D. D. 
The Right Rev. Stephen Soter Ortynsky, O. S. B. M. 

Pennsylvania Before the Coming of Penn. 

IATHOLIC history began in Pennsylvania when 
its broad fields and dense forests were the home 
and hunting-ground of the Indian. By what 
seems a special favor of God, Pennsylvania was 
from the first subject to Catholic influence, and 
the earliest legislation that governed it included 
the liberty that Penn's Charter crystallized into the fullest freedom 
to worship God according to the dictates of one's conscience. 

It will therefore be of interest to take a general view of the 
conditions that prevailed in the lovely land by the broad Delaware 
in the years that prepared Pennsylvania for the coming of Penn 
and his Charter. 

By right of Columbus's discoveries, Spain, a Catholic nation, 
included the future Pennsylvania in her "Florida" claim, — the 
vast tract that in 1512 was described as "comprehending the 
whole country extending from the Atlantic on the East to the 
longitude off of New Mexico on the West, and from the Gulf 
of Mexico and the River of Palms indefinitely northward towards 
the Polar Sea." This same territory was claimed also by France, 
another Catholic nation, by right of Verazzano's voyages in 1 524 ; 
and King Louis XIII granted to Madame de Guercheville, in 
161 1, "all the territory of North America from the St. Lawrence 
to Florida." No effort was made, however, by either Spain or 
France to colonize the northern portion of this claim. 

When Henry Hudson, the Englishman employed by the 
Dutch West India Company, happened into Delaware Bay on 
28 August, 1609, he was looking for a way to China in the 
interests of his Company. He tacked about and continued his 
journey until five days later he sailed into a wide stream which 
he promptly named North River. There he formed the settlements of 


the New Netherlands. He named the other watercourse South 
River. And so it was called until Lord Delaware gave it and 
the broad bay his own name. When Hudson's report was made 
in 1614, the States General of Holland granted a general charter; 
and shortly after five vessels brought a Dutch colony to the land 
along the South River. The leader of the expedition, Cornelius 
Mey, gave his name to the two broad capes — Cornelius and Mey; 
and though the former has been changed to Henlopen, the other 
cape still proclaims the name of the doughty Dutch mariner who 
in 1623 founded the first Dutch settlement on the South River 
and built Fort Nassau near the present city of Gloucester, New 
Jersey. Another settlement was made on the West shore and 
named Swanandale, at what is now Lewes, Delaware. The set- 
tlements were not successful as colonies, although a flourishing 
trade was carried on in their trading-posts with the Indians; and 
in 1633 another fort and trading-post was made on the banks 
of the Schuylkill. These Dutch posts were under the jurisdiction 
of a Director and five Counsellors appointed by the Dutch West 
India Company. Peter Minuit was Director from 1626 to 1633, 
and when he was succeeded by the redoubtable Wouter Van 
Twiller he grew disaffected and offered his services to the recently 
established Swedish West India Company. 

Sweden had been long anxious for an opportunity to share 
in the generous trade of the New World and had cheerfully 
chartered with liberal privileges the Swedish West India Com- 
pany, formed by disappointed members of the Dutch Company. 
Minuit's proffers were eagerly accepted and, under the powerful 
protection of Charles I, Minuit, in April of 1638, with two ves- 
sels came to his former habitation, purchased land from Cape 
Henlopen to a point north of the present lines of Philadelphia, 
and built a fort and formed a settlement at what is now Wilming- 
ton, Delaware, which he named Christina in compliment to the 
youthful Queen of Sweden. 


The Dutch protested, but Minuit and his fifty Swedes suc- 
ceeded in building up a strong fur trade. After his death, in 
1640, Peter Hollander acted as Director until 1642. In this 
year the Dutch Colony was greatly strengthened when the new 
Director, Johann Printz, arrived with a large company and made 
his headquarters on Tinicum Island, which he called New Got- 
tenburg, where he built a large palace with bricks brought from 
Stockholm. Printz built another fort called Elsenberg at the 
mouth of Salem Creek, mounted there eight guns, and levied 
tribute on all passing ships. In spite of his 400 pounds weight 
and the enormous quantity of liquor he drank, Printz was an 
excellent ruler. Although his colonists for the most part settled 
in and around Uplands (now Chester) , many were scattered along 
the river banks to the north on the site of the present Philadel- 
phia, as far as Tacony. 

The Swedes jealously preserved their Old- World traditions, 
and, despite their defection from the Catholic Church, their reli- 
gious service was marked by the Catholic influence of their fore- 
fathers. Governor Printz wrote to Peter Brahe, President of the 
Royal Council, August, 1684: "Divine service is performed here 
in the good old Swedish tongue by a priest clothed in the vest- 
ments of the Mass, on high festivals, solemn prayer days, Sundays, 
and Apostles' Days, precisely as in old Sweden and differing in 
every respect from that of the sects about us." * The doctrine 
of Transubstantiation was held by the Swedish Lutherans, and 
hence in this report Printz wished to show their loyalty to their 
Church and their marked difference from the Dutch Calvinists 
about them. 

Until 1655 the Swedes ruled on the banks of the South 
River, but when Peter Stuyvesant, the Governor of New Amster- 
dam, erected Fort Casimir at New Castle and effectively ended 
the domination of Fort Elsenberg, the then Swedish Director, John 

*New Sweden, by Gregory B. Keen, in Vol. IV of The Narrative and 
Critical History of America, 


Claude Risingh, captured and sacked Fort Casimir, and open 
war was on. Risingh strengthened his position, but the Dutch 
captured a ship sent to reinforce the Swedes, and on 31 August, 
1655, Stuyvesant with seven ships and six hundred men seized 
Fort Casimir, besieged Fort Christina, and after sixteen days 
Risingh and his thirty men surrendered and by a bloodless cam- 
paign the Dutch were in control. Liberal terms were given the 
vanquished, and safe conduct back to Sweden if desired. Between 
four and five hundred Swedish settlers, however, took the oath 
of allegiance to Holland and remained peacefully under the Dutch 
rule. The seat of government was removed to Fort Casimir at 
New Castle. It was in this period that the first settlement of 
importance was made by the Swedes in Philadelphia, when, by 
permission of the Dutch governor, a tract of land was settled by 
Martin Clensmith, William Stille, and Laurence Andries. This 
tract was in the township of Passyunk, and, with eight hundred 
acres granted to Swen Gondersen, Swen Swensen, Oele Swensen, 
and Andries Swensen, in the district of Wicaco, extending to South 
Street, formed the nucleus of the city that was to rise on the shores 
of the Delaware. On the Schuylkill another settlement was made 
in the township of Kingsessing, with a trading-post, Fort Korsholm, 
at the place now known as Point Breeze. The sturdy Swedes 
thrived in farming and trade, and formed a prosperous colony whose 
imprint is still on the city that grew up from their trading-posts. 
The winding roads that ran through the forests between the river 
settlements now throng with a city's busy life, while the lanes that 
served their village needs now bear names as city streets which 
proclaim their Swedish origin. Swanson Street is named in memory 
of the family that owned the land on which Gloria Dei Church 
was built; while Queen Street and Christian Street commemorate 
Queen Christina of Sweden, who in 1654 abdicated the throne 
of that country that she might embrace the Catholic faith. 

Although the territory along the South River was contended 
for between Sweden and Holland, England had not lost sight 
of the fact that by virtue of Sebastian Cabot's discovery, in 1497, 
this with the rest of North America was an English possession* 


In July, 1632, Charles I granted to Sir Edmund Plowden, of 
Ireland, the land now comprised by the States of New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. Plowden was the grand- 
son of the great Sir Edmund of his name, who remained staunch 
in his Catholic faith in spite of persecution, and was considered 
the greatest jurist of Elizabeth's time. The grant was named New 
Albion by Plowden, and here he hoped to establish an Utopia 
where men might flourish under the best and kindest government. 
His plan included the fullest religious liberty ; and in A Description 
of the Province of Neiv Albion, published by him in England in 
1648, after outlining the proposed government, he says: "For 
religion I consider the Holland way, now practised, best to content 
all parties; first by Act of Parliament or Grand Assembly, to 
settle and establish all the Fundamentals necessary to Salvation. 
But no persecution to any dissenting; and to all, such as the Wal- 
loons, free chapels; and to publish all as seditious, and for contempt, 
as bitterly rail and condemn others of the contrary, for this argu- 
ment or persuasion of Religion, Ceremonies, or Church Discipline 
should be acted in mildness, love, and charity, and gentle language, 
not to disturb the ease and quiet of the inhabitants, but therein 
to obey the Civil Magistrate." 

While in America Plowden made his home in Virginia, and 
in 1642 set out from there to visit his province. At Salem (now 
New Jersey) he received the allegiance of the seventy English 
whale-fishers who had come from New Haven under Thomas 
Young and Robert Evelin. The Dutch and Swedes who were 
settled along the South River (now the Delaware) refused to 
recognize Plowden's authority, and, after trying in vain to win 
their good will, Plowden returned to England in 1648, "to secure 
sufficient strength to overpower the Swedes." The Puritan troubles, 
however, in England and the execution of Charles I put an end 
to Plowden's power and destroyed the projected New Albion. 

Although the Dutch and Swedes were in possession of the 
land on the Delaware, under title derived from occupation and 
purchase from the Indians, England never relinquished her claim 
on this territory. On 12 March, 1664, Charles II granted to 


James, his brother, Duke of York, a patent for the tract of land 
now constituting the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massa- 
chusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware 
(Rhode Island and Connecticut possessed separate charters and 
governments). This tract was called New England, and in Sep- 
tember of that year, 1 664, the four commissioners who had arrived 
from England with armed vessels to enforce England's claim, after 
an engagement at Fort Casimir (Fort Delaware), received the 
submission of the Dutch. English rule was thus established under 
Governor Richard Nicholls, who resided in New York. The 
English assumed control of the settlements along the Delaware and 
treated the Swedes and Dutch most liberally, allowing them com- 
plete liberty of conscience and freedom of trade upon their taking 
the oath of allegiance. This peaceful condition prevailed until 
1669, when an unsuccessful rebellion was fomented against Eng- 
lish authority. In 1673, however, an uprising of the Dutch resulted 
in the re-establishment of Dutch rule for sixteen months, and was 
terminated by a treaty of peace in 1674, when English rule was 
finally and permanently established. 

Major Edmund Andros was appointed, 1 July, 1674, to 
govern James's grant in the New World, with Lieutenant Anthony 
Brockholes to succeed him in case of death. All former privileges 
and concessions under the English government and proceedings 
under the Dutch governments were confirmed. Brockholes, who 
was a Catholic, was given jurisdiction over the settlements along 
the Delaware; and in 1680, when Andros returned to England, 
Brockholes was placed in charge of all the Duke's territory. From 
24 May, 1680, until 21 June, 1681, Anthony Brockholes ruled 
as Governor, the first and only Catholic Governor of what is now 
Pennsylvania. In the meantime William Penn had secured his 
grant of land, 4 March, 1681, and Brockholes ended his admin- 
istration by announcing to the justices of the Upland court, the 
famous court of equity that regulated all affairs for the colony, 
"that the King had granted to William Penn, Esq., a certain tract 
of land in America, bounded east by the Delaware River, from 
twelve miles northward of New Castle town, unto the three-and- 


fortieth degree of latitude, and that Penn had appointed William 
Markham to be his deputy governor, who had shown his authority." 
Markham, who had arrived in New York, came to Philadelphia, 
and the history of Pennsylvania as a distinct Province began. 

The foregoing sketch of the earliest history of Pennsylvania 
shows that this favored district was well prepared for Penn's "holy 
experiment." It seems to have been in the mind of all who ruled 
during the many regimes that peace and contentment should prevail 
here, and that no man should be disturbed for his religious belief. 
The Catholic aroma that pervaded from the earliest days had its 
influence, and neither the Swedes nor the Dutch infringed on 
freedom of conscience here, though the latter would grant no 
toleration to Lutherans or others in the New Netherlands, around 
the seat of government at Manhattan. Here Penn found fitting soil 
indeed for his Province of Brotherly Love, built on the fundamental 
principle of freedom of conscience. This sacred principle made his 
settlement flourish beyond all others, and it was likewise "the seed 
of our great Nation," where no civil law comes between God and 
His creature to regulate conscience and prescribe belief, profes- 
sion, and worship. 


Pennsylvania Founded on Religious Liberty. 

I HEN William Penn sought and obtained a grant 
of land in the New World, from Charles II, in 
payment of a debt of £16,000 due his father, 
Admiral Sir William Penn, it was with the 
intention of founding in America a safe refuge 
for himself and fellow Friends from the persecu- 
tions to which they were subjected in Europe. The sufferings 
endured by Quakers and Catholics under the intolerant laws of 
England had made Penn see the injustice of persecuting men for 
their religious beliefs, and the tenets of his Society taught the prac- 
tical exemplification of the Golden Rule. Penn therefore seized 
the opportunity so providentially offered and resolved that his 
Province would be an asylum for those who suffered for conscience' 
sake, and that absolute liberty of worship should be granted to 
all. "The free and open profession and exercise of one's duty 
to God, especially in Worship," was a "fundamental" of his 
project. Thus would be given to the world an object-lesson of 
religious freedom, the great cause which he declared "I have with 
all humility undertaken to plead against the prejudice of the times." 
The "prejudice of the times" had indeed blinded men to the 
rights of their fellow-men, and the spirit of Brotherly Love incul- 
cated by the Founder of Christianity had been almost lost sight 
of in the bitterness of religious hatreds. Penn labored and suffered 
for this principle of Brotherly Love, and pleaded for freedom for 
his own and all others oppressed by iniquitous laws. His principle 
and broad-minded charity may be seen from his Address before 
a Committee of Parliament, 22 January, 1678, nearly four years 
before he had obtained his Charter for Pennsylvania. 

That which giveth me more than ordinary right to speak at this time 
and place is the great abuse that I have received above any other of my 


profession for a long time. I have not only been supposed a Papist, but a 
seminarist, a Jesuit, an emissary of Rome and in the pay of the Pope, a 
man dedicating my endeavors to the interest and advancement of that party. 
Nor hath this been the report of the rabble but the jealousy and insinuations 
of persons otherwise sober and discreet. Nay, some zealous for the Prot- 
estant cause have been so far gone in this mistake as not only to think ill of 
us and to decline our conversation, but to take courage to themselves to 
prescribe us as a sort of concealed Papist. All laws have been let loose 
upon us, as if the design were not to reform but to destroy us, and that not 
for what we are, but for what we are not. 

I would not be mistaken. I am far from thinking that Papists should 
be whipped for their consciences, because I exclaim against the injustice of 
whipping Quakers for Papists. No, for the hand pretended to be lifted 
up against them hath, I know not by what discretion, lit heavily upon us, 
and we complain, yet we do not mean that any should take fresh aim 
at them or that they must come in our room. We must give the liberty 
we ask, and cannot be false to our principles, though it were to relieve 
ourselves, for we have good will to all men and would have none to suffer 
for a truly sober and conscientious dissent on any hand. 

Although Penn's charter was obtained 4 March, 1681, he 
did not come to his province until October of 1682. During the 
interim Penn occupied himself in formulating laws for his province, 
distributing pamphlets in England and Germany inviting immigra- 
tion, and arranging the details of the "large town or city" that 
was to be his "holy experiment" : "Whose streets were to be broad 
and lined with trees; every house to be put in the middle of the 
breadth of the lot, so as to leave ground on each side for gardens 
or orchards or fields, that it may be a green country-town, which 
will never be burnt and always be wholesome." 

From 1675 the English had been coming to the Delaware, 
but not in large numbers, and on 22 October, 1682, when Penn 
sailed up the Delaware he found his plans had been put in practice 
by William Markham, his Deputy, and by Thomas Holmes, the 
Surveyor; and the city of his hopes that lay so invitingly between 
the two rivers he selected as the seat of his Provincial Government 
and called it Philadelphia — the City of Brotherly Love. The 
name meant much to him and he faithfully fulfilled all that it 
meant, not for political ends, not that his settlement might be 


peopled by all sorts of men, but from the highest religious motives. 
This he sets forth in a letter from Philadelphia, 9 January, 1683, 
to the Duke of Ormonde, the Viceroy of Ireland, saying it is 
his will "not to vex men for their belief and modest practice of 
their faith with respect to the other world into which Province 
and Sovereignty temporal power reaches not from its very nature 
and end." Nor was it merely toleration that Penn granted to all, 
but the truest religious liberty, by which, he declares, "I mean a 
free and open profession and exercise of one's duty to God, espe- 
cially in worship." How this was put in practice is learned from 
A Good Order Established in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 
America, by Thomas Budd, 1685, wherein, describing Philadel- 
phia, Budd says: 

Care is taken by the establishment of certain fundamental Laws by 
which every Man's Liberty and Property, both as men and Christians, are 
preserved, so that none shall be hurt in his Person, Estate or Liberty fcr his 
Religious Persuasion or Practice in Worship towards God. 

In the Great Law prepared by Penn before leaving England 
and passed at Chester, Pa., 10 December, 1682, within two 
months after his arrival, it is declared: 

All persons living in this Province . . . shall in no way be 
molested or prejudiced in their religious persuasion or practice or in matter 
of faith or worship. 

Penn, in A Further Account of the Province of Pennsyl- 
vania and Its Improvements, says of the Government: "We aim 
at duty to the King, the Preservation of Right to all, the Suppres- 
sion of Vice and Encouragement of Virtue and Arts with Liberty 
to all People to Worship Almighty God according to their Faith 
and Persuasion." x 

Benjamin Furley, Penn's agent at Rotterdam, in Explanation 
Concerning the Establishment of Pennsylvania, issued 6 March, 
1684, says: 

And in order that each may enjoy that liberty of conscience which is 
a natural right belonging to all men, and which is so conformable to the 

1 Pa. Mag., April, 1885, p. 79. 


genius and character of peaceful people and friends of repose, it is estab- 
lished firmly, not only that no one be forced to assist in any public exercise 
of religion, but also full power is given to each to make freely the public 
exercise of his own without meeting with any trouble or interference of any 
kind ; provided that he professes to believe in One Eternal God, All Powerful 
who is the Creator, Preserver and Governor of the world, and that he fulfill 
all the duties of civil society, which he is bound to perform towards his 

No wonder Perm's Province founded on such broad charity 
flourished above all others. From the very beginning God blessed 
the work and sent peace and increase, and prosperity. 

Of all who sought the friendly shelter of Penn's Province, 
to none was it a more welcome haven and safe refuge than to 
the Catholics. A bond of suffering united them and the Quakers. 
Both had felt alike the lash of persecution; both had been taxed 
unjustly for the support of a religion that had made itself odious. 
Although the Friends had felt the force of laws directed primarily 
against "the Papists," and although Penn did not approve of all 
Catholic practices and certain doctrines that he thought were Cath- 
olic, his true chanty would not permit him to "except" Catholics 
from his liberal laws, as they were "excepted" in other of the 
Colonies. The result of this liberality was that later on when 
the Catholic-founded-Maryland had fallen away, and the Church 
of England was established there by law; when Catholics were 
deprived of the rights they had accorded to those who were perse- 
cuting them ; when in New Jersey liberty of conscience was granted 
to all "except Papists" ; when in New York to harbor a priest was 
a penal offence; in Pennsylvania, Catholics were free and untram- 
melled in the open practice of their religion. Such liberality of 
government did not go unnoticed or unresented. In England and 
in his own Province Penn was harassed by the Episcopalians, 
who sought in every way to have his charter overthrown and royal 
rule established in Pennsylvania, which would mean the establish- 
ing of the Church of England. His adoption of the Catholic prin- 
ciple that all men are born free and equal, and that no man's 
religion should be molested, was used against him. He was 


accused of being a Papist and of "keeping a Jesuit to write his 
books." Philip Ford defended him from these charges in London, 
in his absence, 12 December, 1682, and Penn himself put again 
on record his broad religious principle in a letter to William Popple, 
20 October, 1688, anent these charges: 

If the asserting of an impartial liberty of conscience, if doing to others 
as he would be done by, and an open avowing and a steady practicing of 
these things at all times and to all parties, will justly lay a man under the 
reflection of being a Jesuit or Papist of any sort, I must not only submit to 
the character, but embrace it too. 

To Archbishop Tillottson, who reported him "a Papist, per- 
haps a Jesuit," he wrote: 

I am a Catholic, though not a Roman. I have bowels for mankind, 
and dare not deny others what I crave for myself. I mean liberty for the 
exercise of my religion, thinking faith, piety, and providence a better security 
than force, and that if truth cannot prevail with her own weapons, all others 
will fail her. . # . . I am no Roman Catholic but a Christian whose 
creed is the Scripture. . . . Two principles of religion I abhor: Obedi- 
ence upon authority without conviction: Destroying them that differ from me 
for God's sake. 2 

The Episcopalians, to whom toleration was such a new doc- 
trine, were fearful that Penn would not be true to his principle 
of liberty in their regard, and so would debar members of the 
Church of England who had persecuted him and his Society. 
They therefore took measures to secure themselves in the Province, 
and the Lord Bishop of London petitioned that Penn "be obliged 
by his patent to admit a chaplain upon request of any number of 
planters." The Charter, accordingly, when issued to William Penn 
in 1681 contained this reference to Religion: 

13. And our farther pleasure is, and we do hereby, for us, our heirs 
and successors, charge and require, that if any of the inhabitants of the said 

*Wm. Penn to Abp. Tillottson. Hazard's Register, Vol. II, pp. 29-30. 


Province, to the number of twenty, shall at any time hereafter be desirous, 
and shall by any writing, or by any person deputed by them, signify such 
desire to the Bishop of London, for the time being, that any preacher 01 
preachers, to be approved by the said bishop, may be sent unto them, for 
their instruction; that then such preacher or preachers shall and may reside 
within the said Province, without any denial or molestation whatsoever. 3 

Perm's charity was true, extending even to his enemies. In 
his Province these enjoyed the freedom that they denied to others 
at home, and begrudged to those who shared it in the New World. 
This generosity was almost misplaced, for increased numbers and 
strengthened influence were used against the Proprietor, so that in 
1 692 Pennsylvania was placed under the government of New York. 
In the year following, however, Penn was restored to his rights; 
and though the opposition to him was not stilled, he and his suc- 
cessors remained in possession. The beneficent rule of Brotherly 
Love held sway, and Philadelphia was indeed, as Bancroft declares, 
"the city of refuge, the mansion of freedom, and the home of 

• Proud's Hist. Pa., I, p. 186; Perry's Am Epis. Ch., I, p. 224; Eccles. Rec, 
N. Y., I, p. 759. 


The First Catholics of Pennsylvania. — "Father Smith." 

I HE religious liberty of Perm's Province was most 
welcome to the Catholics who suffered under 
English intolerance, and at an early date many 
availed themselves of the widespread invitation to 
take shelter under the freedom of his charter. 

The first Catholic resident of Philadelphia 
of whom there is record was "one Romanist" brought by Daniel 
Pastorius, the Founder of Germantown, with his other servants 
from Germany in 1683. But neither name nor deed is known 
yet of this first mentioned humble professor of the true faith in 
Penn's "Woody Land." 

Of other Catholics who came at an early date more is known. 
One of the original purchasers of land was "J. Gray, a Roman 
Catholic Gentleman" of London, who secured a grant of land 
in 1681 and came to the Province in 1685. He was known as 
John Tatham in the colony, though why he changed his name 
does not appear. He was a person of importance, described by 
Penn in a letter to Thomas Lloyd, "16, 3mo. 1684," as a "Rom. 
Cath. Gent." Penn adds, "He is a scholar and avers to ye Calvin- 
ists, be sure to please him in his land. He comes in a post." In 
another letter, "4th. month, 10, 1685," Penn wrote to his steward 
James Harrison, "Remember me to J. Gray ye R. C. Keep 
things well with such persons for our general credit." The land 
of J. Gray, alias Tatham, as shown by Holmes's map of Penn- 
sylvania, was quite extensive, being in the northeastern part of 
Philadelphia County adjoining Bucks, and on both sides of Ne- 
shaminy Creek. In Bensalem township his land, on the map, is in 
the name of John Gray, alias Tatham, and towards the end of 
the tract, near the stream, is marked "Tatham's House." Tatham 
also owned land in New Jersey, as a survey at Burlington was 


made for him about 1685, by Daniel Leeds. He made his resi- 
dence there, probably leaving Pennsylvania on account "of the 
difference of long standing between himself and his neighbor on 
Neshaminy Creek, Joseph Growden, Gentleman.*' His residence 
at Burlington is described as "a great and stately mansion, the 
best in the Province." It was selected as the probable residence 
of the first Episcopal Bishop, then expected to be appointed for 
America. Tatham was the most important figure at a meeting 
of the twenty-four proprietors in Burlington, 14 December, 1687, 
as he represented not only his own extensive property, but also 
that of Dr. Daniel Coxe, the physician to the late Charles II, the 
owner of the largest possession in West Jersey, and he was, there- 
fore, chosen one of the eleven Commissioners. On the death of 
Governor Barclay, 3 October, 1690, the Proprietors of East and 
West Jersey appointed John Tatham to be their Governor, but 
as he was a Catholic and therefore could not take the oath of 
allegiance to William and Mary, his appointment was not confirmed 
by the Assembly. He served, however, until succeeded by Gov- 
ernor Dudley, in 1691. Tatham was a staunch Catholic, and 
his position and wealth made him one of the most important of 
the first settlers. He died in 1700, and his wife in 1701. The 
inventory of his estate shows him to have been possessed of £3765, 
an immense sum in those days. The catalogue of his library, pub- 
lished by Father Middleton, O. S. A., gives the titles of the largest 
collection of books then in British America, and includes books 
of devotion, theological and controversial works, and volumes of 
general literature. His will enumerates "Church plate," crucifixes, 
relics, and sacramental vessels. His "stately mansion" was the 
resort of the Jesuits journeying to and from New York and Mary- 
land, and here they said Mass for the Catholics of the region. 
No doubt Mass was also said in his house in Bensalem, in Penn- 
sylvania, just across the river, for the few Catholics of Bucks 
County. Lionell Brittin was a neighbor, and here, perhaps from 
his acquaintance with Tatham, he came to know the Church's 
doctrines, and was converted in 1 707. 

Another prominent Catholic was George W. Nixon, who 
came to Philadelphia in 1 686, from the County Wexford, Ireland. 


The trunk that he brought with him is in Memorial Hall, Fair- 
mount Park, decorated with brass-headed nails and bearing the 
date 1686 and his initials G. W. N. His grandson, Col. John 
Nixon, was prominent at the Revolution, and on 8 July, 1 776, 
read to the world for the first time the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, from the observatory which had been erected in the State 
House yard by the American Philosophical Society for the obser- 
vation of the transit of Venus in 1 769. Col. Nixon, however* 
was an Episcopalian; the Catholic faith of the Wexford Irish 
Catholic immigrant had been lost to his children. 

There were in these early days two settlements of French 
included in Philadelphia's environs. One "up ye Skoolkill," 
which gave concern to the Provincial Government in 1690 during 
"ye warrs between ye crownes of England and France"; the 
other in the neighborhood of what afterwards was Francisville. 
Here extensive vineyards were cultivated, of which the memory 
is still preserved in Vineyard Street of that locality. These French- 
men were for the most part Huguenots, but some were Catholics, 
one of whom at least was a man of wealth and importance. This 
was Peter Dubuc, who died in 1 693, and by his will of 14 October, 
of that year, bequeathed one hundred pounds to the poor of Phila- 
delphia and the "sume of Fifty pounds, silver money, to Father 
Smith now or late of Talbot County." Dubuc styles himself in 
his will "gentleman." He was one of the leading citizens of the 
day, judging from his social position, for his will names Lieutenant 
Governor William Markham, Patrick Robinson, and Robert 
Turner as the friends whom he desired to join in the prudent man- 
agement and disposal of his estate which, after sundry bequests, 
he devises to his "well-beloved friend Samuel Peres." The inven- 
tory filed by Peres, 21 October, amounted to £727. 13s. and in- 
cludes 21 ounces of plate, 3 ounces of gold, and "a barr of gold." 
Dubuc was one of the wealthy men of the times, and in the tax- 
list of 1693 (the first made in Philadelphia) he ranks tenth of 
the seven hundred and five taxpayers; and his property, valued 
at £800, is taxed £3. 8s. 6d. for defense of the Province against 
the French. In this assessment Dubuc's friend, Samuel Peres, is 


rated at £300, which with what he inherited from Dubuc's will 
made him one of the well-to-do of the day. 

The identity of Father Smith, mentioned in Dubuc's will, 
has been a subject of much conjecture. The English Jesuits 
assumed names other than their own, for protection, as may be 
learned from Foley's List of Aliases; and "Smith" is an elusive 
quantity and well adapted to hide the real identity of its bearer. 
The Jesuits' list of names gives the alias of Father Thomas Harri- 
son as "John Smith," but Father Harrison died in 1691, according 
to Foley's Records, and therefore could not have been Dubuc's 
legatee. It has been proved, however, by careful research that 
"Father Smith" of Dubuc's will was the Rev. Thomas Harvey, 
S. J., who was also known as Thomas Barton. This priest came 
to New York with Thomas Dongan, the Catholic Governor, in 
1 683, and served as chaplain to the Governor in Fort James, now 
the Battery, until 1689, when Dongan was overthrown by the 
revolt of Jacob Leisler, who took possession and read the procla- 
mation of William and Tvlary. Harvey was a prominent figure 
in the public life of New York under the name of "Father Smith" 
and "John Smith" and is mentioned many times in colonial docu- 
ments. He was driven out of New York by Leisler and took 
up his residence in Talbot County, Maryland. During his resi- 
dence in New York he passed frequently through Philadelphia 
on his way to and from Maryland, and afterwards continued his 
ministrations to the Catholics here. He would, therefore, be well 
known to Peter Dubuc and his fellow Catholics, though they were 
in ignorance of his exact whereabouts between his visits and could 
locate him no more definitely than "now or lately of Talbot 
County." x 

The important fact, however, is that there was a priest well 
known to the Catholics of Philadelphia in that early day, who 
appreciated his ministrations and understood the needs and hard- 
ships of his life. It is interesting to note also that the small Catholic 
contingent included men like Tatham and Dubuc, of high social 
standing and prominence in the community. 

1 See American Cath. Researches, April, ii 

The First Priest to Visit Pennsylvania. — "The Old 


I ROM the first days of Perm's settlement in Penn- 
sylvania the few Catholics were visited at times 
by the priests who travelled through the Province 
on the mission from Maryland, or on journeys 
to and from New York. These priests came 
at stated times, or when the round of their duties 
over the vast territories brought them to the city, or by chance of 
travel, and met and ministered to the faithful gathered in the 
house of some of their number who gladly seized the opportunity 
to hear Mass and frequent the Sacraments. Not until a compara- 
tively late date was there a resident priest in the city; but that 
the few Catholics were not deprived of the consolations of their 
religion can be learned from the bequest of Peter Dubuc in grate- 
ful recognition of the services of the priest known as "Father 
Smith," as shown in the last chapter. 

Before the formation of Penn's Province, however, during 
the time of the Dutch and Swedish occupation, a priest visited 
this region, who can be properly recorded as the first priest to visit 
Pennsylvania. This was the Rev. John Pierron, of Canada, who 
in 1673-4, after passing the winter in Acadia, "took a favorable 
opportunity and went through the whole of New England, Mary- 
land, and Virginia, where he found naught but desolation and 
abomination among the heretics, who will not even baptize the 
children and still less the adults. He saw persons, thirty and forty 
years old and even as many as ten or twelve persons in a single 
house who had not received baptism. He administered that sacra- 
ment and others to but a few on account of their obstinancy; he 
had, however, the happiness of preparing a heretic to make his 


abjuration. ... In Maryland he found two of our Fathers 
and a Brother who are English, the Fathers being dressed as 
gentlemen and the Brother like a farmer." Thus writes the Rev. 
Claude Dablon, Superior of the Mission of Canada and Rector 
of Quebec, to Father Pieruette, Provincial of France, 24 October, 
1674. As the land now known as Philadelphia was in 1674 
included in the New England grant to the Duke of York, and 
Father Pierron travelled through to Maryland and returned to 
Canada, he must have passed through the Dutch and Swedish 
settlements along the Delaware. No Catholics are known to have 
lived here then, among the people whom the Jesuit found so deplor- 
ably irreligious, and he met but few in what is now known as 
New England, in which John Adams in 1 765 declared "Roman / / 
Catholics are as scarce as comets." 

A few years after Pierron's journey, 1679, two Labadist 
ministers, Jasper Dankers and Peter Sluyter, passed through this 
region, having come from New England, and continued on to 
Maryland. They were mistaken for Catholic priests, though they 
protested against this appellation, as they were followers of Labadie, 
an apostate Jesuit, who died in Denmark in 1654. As there were 
no French and but few English here at that time there is no record, 
in their journal, of the reception they received along the Delaware, 
but in their account of New York City under date of 1 June, 1 680, 
they record: 

We are in everyone's eye and yet nobody knows what to make of us. 
Some declared that we were Jesuits traveling over the country to spy it out, 
some that we were Recollects designating the places where we had held 
Mass and confession. The Papists believed we were Priests and we could 
not get rid of them, they would have us confess them, baptize their children 
and perform Mass, and they continued in their opinion. 

While in Maryland these two bought four thousand acres 
in Cecil County for a settlement of Labadists. Their scheme 
failed of success, however, and by a remarkable coincidence a 
part of this same tract, which they had called Bohemia Manor, 
came into the possession of the Jesuits in 1 706, and members of 


the Society resided there until 1901, when it was transferred to 
the Bishop of Wilmington. From the Mission and school estab- 
lished there the Jesuits served the religious needs of the Catholics 
of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York during the first days 
of the formative period of the Church in those parts. 

Although the Catholics of Philadelphia had no regularly 
appointed pastor until 1 720, and no resident priest until some years 
later, a story has been current tradition that a priest resided here 
in 1686. This is based on a misunderstanding, arising from a 
letter which William Penn wrote in 1686, from London, to his 
steward, James Harrison, asking him to send certain products of 
the new Province, notably smoked beef and shad, and adding 
"the old priest has fine shad." Watson, the Annalist of Philadel- 
phia, in recording this jumped to the conclusion that there was 
a Catholic priest residing here at that early date. As a matter of 
fact Penn referred to the minister of the Swedish Lutheran Church. 
Together with the elaborate ceremonies, vestments, etc., and Cath- 
olic forms retained by that church, was the custom of calling the 
ministers priests. The Description of the New Swedish Colony 
on the Delaware, before Penn's arrival, states that "the Swedish 
Church is planted there of Swedish priests and sheep." Moreover, 
the Quakers designated as "priests" the paid ministers of all other 
denominations. Thus the Records of the Concord Meeting House 
contain many entries showing the disowning of members for "marry- 
ing by a priest." Whilst it is clear, therefore, that the individual 
mentioned by Penn was not a Catholic priest, his identity has 
not been definitely established. It has been stated that Jacobus 
Fabricius, the German preacher of the Swedish Lutheran Church, 
who lived in Philadelphia from 1677 to 1691, and who was blind 
in the last years of his life, was the man in Penn's mind. Later 
investigation, however, goes to show that the "old priest" referred 
to by Penn was not Fabricius, but the Swedish Pastor Lars Carlson 
Lock (Lockenius). Lock was certainly "old"; he had been in 
Pennsylvania from 1652, probably even as early as 1648. Pastor 
Acrelius, who wrote in 1 758 the Description of the Swedish Church 
in New Sweden (Pennsylvania) says Lock's old age was bur- 


dened with many troubles, and praises his good works, saying: 
"He was certainly an instrument in the hands of God for sustaining 
these Swedish churches for so long a time" ; and he adds, "Finally 
he became too lame to help himself and still less the churches and 
therefore did no service for some years, until his death ended all 
his sorrows in 1688." 

During these years of his disability he was engaged in trade, 
and Penn naturally would think of him as one to be patronized, 
on account of his affliction, as well as for the superiority of his 
"smoked shadd." Fabricius was a German or Pole who had 
come from New York in 1677 and became blind in 1682, and 
so had not the long record of work and residence that belonged 
to Lock. Moreover, Fabricius received a salary and support from 
the church, and Jacob Yung was appointed by the Church War- 
dens of Wicacoa in 1 684 as agent to raise money for this purpose. 
Neither of these men was very reputable, according to our stand- 
ards. Fabricius after becoming blind applied for a license as 
a tavern-keeper. We have learnt something of Lock from the 
Ministers Megapolensis and Frisius, Dutch Reformed Ministers 
at New Amsterdam (New York), 5 August, 1757, who wrote 
to the Clasis of Amsterdam, Holland, that the Dutch, having taken 
possession of the country on the South River (now the Delaware) , 
occupied mainly by Swedish Lutherans, the Swedish Governor made 
a condition in his capitulation that they might retain one Lutheran 
preacher (Lockenius) to teach these people "in their language." 
The writers of the document also declared: 

This Lutheran preacher (Lockenius) is a man of impious and scanda- 
lous habits, a wild, drunken, unmannerly man, more inclined to look into 
the wine can than into the Bible. He would prefer drinking brandy two 
hours to preaching one; and when the sap is in the wood his hands itch and 
he wants to fight whomsoever he meets. 1 

In 1661 Lock's wife eloped, and one month afterwards he 
applied to Director Beekman to marry again, his intended bride 

*Ecc. Rec, N. Y. i, p. 396. 


being a blooming Swedish girl of seventeen or eighteen years of 
age. But Beekman hesitated to permit what would have been 
bigamy. Three weeks afterwards Lock applied again for appro- 
bation for his marriage, "as the situation of his family imperiously 
required it"; but the impatient lover had to wait two months. At 
that time permission for a divorce was granted by Governor Stuy- 
vesant at New York. No sooner did Lock learn of the permission 
than, anticipating the official action of the Court of Magistrates 
which had not yet allowed the divorce, he put an end to all his 
doubts and uncertainties by "marrying himself." Upon this the 
Court at Altona (now Wilmington), which had jurisdiction in 
Philadelphia, declared the marriage "null, void and illegal," no 
divorce having been granted. Lock then appealed to the Court, 
saying : 

What regards it that I married myself; I cannot discover anything illegal 
in it. I acted just in the same manner I had done before with respect to others ; 
exactly so as others do who are not prosecuted for it, and I can conscientiously 
assure you that it was performed without any evil intention. Had I known 
that my marrying myself in that manner should have been so unfavorably 
interpreted, I should have submitted to the usage of the Reformed Church, 
but I did not know it. 

Notwithstanding this appeal he was fined 200 guilders, and 
his marriage was declared void. 2 

In view of this side-light on the character of Lars Carlson 
Lock it is evident that religion suffered no great loss when his 
infirmities compelled him to abandon the pulpit for the fish stall. 
His long years of service, however, would warrant his being desig- 
nated still as "the old priest," and Penn's agent readily recognized 
the well-known Lock by that appellation. 

Wescott's Sunday Dispatch, History of Philadelphia, Chap. X. 

The First Converts and the Public Celebration of 
Mass. — The First Pastor. 

|HE Catholic community in Philadelphia at the 
beginning of the eighteenth century included, in 
addition to the settlers who had come direct from 
England, and the Germans from the Palatinate, 
many who had fled from Maryland to the kinder 
rule of the Quaker province, and others who had 
been driven from New York after the revolt of Jacob Leisler in 
1 689. This worthy wrote to Captain Goode, St. Mary's County, 
Md., in 1689: "It is three weeks ago I heard of some of your 
papist grandees at Philadelphia." Goode in his reply speaks of 
"Herly and Welsh" who had been arrested as "Irishmen and 
Papists," but who had made their escape "towards Pennsylvania." 
Although not numerous, the Catholics commanded the respect 
of their neighbors, and there can be no better illustration of the 
consistent Christian lives led by these early Catholics and their 
influence in the community than the fact that converts were made 
to the Church. Then, as always, example rather than precept 
appealed to those outside the Church. Among those who embraced 
the Catholic Faith was Lionel Brittin, a notable person in Phila- 
delphia, and one of the earliest settlers in the Province, having 
arrived in 1680 from Alny, Berks Co., England. Brittin first 
settled in Bucks Co. above Philadelphia, but in 1688 conveyed 
his land there, consisting of two hundred acres, to Stephen Beakes 
for £100, and removed to the city, taking up his residence in 
Second St. below Market St., on the six lots now occupied by 
the Walsh Estate. During Christmastide, 1707, Lionel Brittin 
with several others was received into the Church, at a public cele- 
bration of Mass. There is no record where this Mass was said, 
or by whom, but it is most probable that one of the Jesuit priests 


from Bohemia instructed the converts, received them into the Church, 
and celebrated Mass on the occasion in the house of one of the 
faithful in the city, or perhaps in Brittin's own house. Under the 
perfect freedom of worship accorded by Penn's government, the 
celebration of Mass was no infrequent occurrence, as has been 
stated in the preceding chapters, and when the Jesuits established 
themselves at Bohemia Manor, in 1 706, they often visited Phila- 
delphia, which was within easy reach, to celebrate Mass and admin- 
ister the Sacraments. The visits of the priests, however frequent, 
provoked no comment, but the conversion of Brittin, a man of 
prominence in the community, was a noteworthy event and was 
widely discussed. Penn's enemies, who liked not his policy, readily 
seized on the pretext afforded by the public discussion concerning 
the Mass and the conversions as an argument against the Proprietor 
and his government. 

On 1 4 February, 1 707-8, the Rev. John Talbot, Episcopal 
minister of St. Mary's Church, Burlington, N. J., wrote to the 
Rev. George Keith, then in Connecticut: 

I saw Mr. Bradford in New York. He tells me that Mass is set up 
and read publicly in Philadelphia, and several people are turned to it, amongst 
which Lionel Brittin, the church warden, is one and his son is another. I 
thought Popery would come in amongst Friends, the Quakers, as soon as 
any way. 1 

On 10 January Talbot had written the (London) Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel: 

Arise, O Lord Jesus Christ, and help us and deliver us for Thine 
honor. . . . There's an Independency at Elizabethtown, Anabaptism 
at Burlington, and the Popish Mass at Philadelphia. I thought the Quakers 
would be the first to let it in, particularly Mr. Penn, for if he has any 
religion, 'tis that. But thus to tolerate all without control is to have none 
at all. 2 

1 American Catholic Researches, 1905, p. 122, from original MSS. P. E. C. 

1 Hill's His. Ch. Burlington. 


Minister Talbot was very severe in his strictures on Penn, 
whom he characterized as 

a greater anti-Christ than Julian the Apostate, one who instead of trying 
to convert the Indians to Christianity, labors to make Christians heathens, 
and proclaims liberty and privilege to all that believe in One God. 3 

From these words of Talbot one may judge what a case 
would be made by the Episcopalians against Penn, who at that 
time was in Fleet St. Jail for debt, in the suit of Ford, the unjust 
steward of his Irish Estate. It was the unhappy period of Penn's 
life, and he was endeavoring to effect a settlement of his affairs 
by disposing of his grant in America. The Episcopalians in Eng- 
land lost no time in bringing to the attention of the authorities 
the reports received from their co-religionists in Pennsylvania; and 
it is needless to suggest that the story lost nothing in the telling. 
Under date of the "29th, 7mo, 1 708," William Penn in writing 
from London to James Logan, said: 

Here is a complaint against your Government that you suffer publick 
Mass in a scandalous manner. Pray send the matter of fact, for ill use is 
made against us here. 4 

This was contained in a letter, sent by the hands of the new 
Lieutenant Governor, Charles Gookin, on his going to take charge 
of the government of the Province as Penn's representative. The 
wording of Penn's letter is the charge made by his enemies, rather 
than his own language. It was indeed "scandalous" in the eyes 
of the Episcopalians, and they were much offended, that the rites 
of a religion proscribed in England should be celebrated publicly, 
in accordance with the terms of Penn's Charter, which guaranteed 
complete religious liberty. In Pennsylvania alone, of all the vast 
territory under the English flag, were men allowed to worship 
God freely according to the dictates of their own conscience. While 


* Penn and Logan Cor., II., p. 294. 


the Catholic religion was banned wherever English law prevailed, 
in Penn's Province Mass was said openly and the faithful fed 
their souls at God's altar, unmolested of any man. 

Logan's report to Penn of "the matter of fact" enabled him 
to thwart the wicked designs of his enemies, and the spiteful but 
fruitless opposition to the Church served but to give positive testi- 
mony of the perfect freedom enjoyed by Catholics in Pennsyl- 
vania. Mass continued to be said publicly in Philadelphia by the 
Jesuit missionaries; but there were no deeds of violence or injus- 
tice that mark with definite names and dates the slow progress of 
the Church in the other colonies. So unhindered were the move- 
ments of these priests that there is no record of their names or 
date of their visits, during the subsequent years, until about 1 720, 
when the Rev. Joseph Greaton, S. J., was appointed to the Mary- 
land Missions and given direct charge of the Catholics of Philadel- 
phia. From his coming begins the orderly history of the Church 
in this region. He formed the Catholics of the city and Province 
into the first parish and therefore was himself the first Catholic 
Pastor of Philadelphia. 

Father Greaton was born in London, 1 6 January, 1 679, and 
entered the Society of Jesus 5 July, 1 708, and made his solemn 
profession some eleven years afterwards. On his appointment to 
the Maryland Missions, which included the Catholics of Philadel- 
phia, he took up his residence in Anne Arundel Co., where he 
dwelt when not on his extensive mission tour. That his headquarters 
were on the Eastern Shore seems to be indicated by the will of 
James Carroll, the cousin of Charles Carroll, made 1 7 February, 

1 728, wherein after naming George Thorold as heir to certain 
lands, or in event of his death, Father Atwood of Portobacco, he 
added: "In case of their deaths, then I bequeath the aforesaid 
lands, goods and chattels to the Rev. Joseph Greaton, his heirs 
and assigns forever." 

From his appointment to the Missions of Pennsylvania until 

1 729, when he took up his residence in Philadelphia, Father 
Greaton ministered to the Catholics scattered through the Eastern 
part of Maryland and the South-eastern part of Pennsylvania, as 


well as to the inhabitants of the city. The route he travelled in the 
tour of his duty is set forth in the record of his ministrations. 
Across Chesapeake Bay, through Kent and Cecil Counties to 
Bohemia and thence to Philadelphia, coming into the city by way 
of Concord, Chester County, where the Wilcox family was settled 
from 1727; or, at times through Cecil, Harford, and Baltimore 
Counties to Conewago, thence to Lancaster, to Concord, and so 
to Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia had become a city of importance by this time. 
The census of 1 720 showed the number of inhabitants to be 20,000, 
so greatly had the place increased from the 80 houses and 500 
inhabitants of 1693. A City Charter had been granted by Penn 
in 1 701, and in 1 707 a court house had been built at Market and 
Second Streets. A constant stream of immigration poured into 
the city, and while a great many of these immigrants continued 
their journeying to other parts of the Province, where they en- 
gaged in their old-country avocation of farming, a very large number 
remained to swell the city population. The bulk of this immi- 
gration came from the German Palatinate and from the North 
of Ireland. In 1 727 there arrived in Philadelphia 1 1 55 Irish, 
"none of whom were servants," and there must have been three 
times as many so classed. In 1 727, 5600 came here from Ireland. 
The proportion of that nationality to all others was ten to one. In 
1 729, 5655 more arrived. The Mercury of 14 August of that year 
announced: "It is reported from New Castle that there arrived 
there this week about 2000 Irish and an abundance more, daily 
expected. There is one ship that about 1 00 souls died out of her." 

What a commentary on the hardship of that passage! The 
large majority of these immigrants were "Redemptioners," persons 
who were sold into service usually for seven years, and thus paid 
the expense of their passage. Many were convicts, whose "time" 
was sold in the same manner to the highest bidder, their qualifica- 
tions being set forth in advertisements in the local papers. One 
of many such advertisements in a newspaper of 1 728 reads : "Lately 
imported and to be sold cheap, a parcel of likely men and women 
servants." This traffic which seems now so abhorrent was the 


custom of the time, and the memory of it may serve to develop the 
virtue of humility in the descendants of the Redemptioners. These 
unfortunates submitted even to this ignominy that they might escape 
from the hardships of life in the Old World and try their fortunes 
in the New. Famine had raged in Ireland and "many could 
hardly get bread." The American Weekly Mercury, of 1 7 July, 
1 729, reports tumults and "bread riots" in Dublin, and reprints a 
proclamation read in the Catholic churches there, forbidding Cath- 
olics, under pain of excommunication, from taking part in these 
disorders. In that very year, in Philadelphia wheat was sold for 
3 shillings; corn, 2s. 3d.; "flower," 10s. 6d. ; rice, 20s.; tobacco, 
16s.- 18s.; pork, 50s.; while beef was "scarce." 

The influx of foreigners caused consternation, because of the 
character of many. On 1 7 December, 1 728, Lieutenant-Governor 
Patrick Gordon in a message to the "Representatives of the Free- 
men of the Province of Pennsylvania and the Three Lower Coun- 
ties," said: 

I have now positive orders from Britain to provide a proper law against 
these crowds of Foreigners who are yearly powr'd upon us. It may also 
require thoughts to prevent the importation of Irish Papists and convicts of 
whom some of the most notorious, I am credibly informed, have of late, been 
landed in this River. 

The Representatives replied 28 December, saying: 

We do likewise conceive it to be of the greatest consequence to the 
Preservation both of Religious and Civil Rights of the People of this Prov- 
ince to prevent the importation of Irish Papists and convicts in which no 
endeavors of ours shall be wanting, and we earnestly request the Governor 
to recommend the same to the consideration of the Assembly of the Three 
Lower Counties, to make like provision against the growth of so pernicious 
an evil in that Government which if not timely prevented, will sensibly affect 
the People of this Province. 5 

It is to be noted that though the Assembly promised the Gov- 
ernor that "no endeavors would be wanting to prevent the growth 

•From Fisher Collection in Am. Philosophical Society. 


of so pernicious an evil," yet when it came to legislate in accord 
with a second request of Governor Gordon, made 1 March, 1 729, 
"to discourage by law the vast importation of foreigners and Irish 
Servants," the objectionable word "Papists" was omitted in this 
request. Thomas Tree and Andrew Hamilton were appointed 
to draw such a Bill "levying duty on Foreigners, Irish servants, 
and Persons of Redemption." On their report the Assembly placed 
a tax of 20 shillings on Irish servants and 40 shillings on aliens. 
The Irish were therefore taxed but one-half that imposed on 
imported "Foreigners" — principally those from the Palatinates. 
But the enforcement of the law was found unsatisfactory, and 
vessels discharged their cargoes of servants at New Castle, or Bur- 
lington. On 16 October the Assembly appointed a Committee 
to draw a bill repealing the law, and on 1 4 March, 1 729-30, the 
law was altered so as to tax the importation of "persons of crime 
or impotent persons." 

The extraordinary immigration of Irish to Penn's Province 
during the first half of the eighteenth century was the result of 
the unjust laws enacted by the English Government which com- 
pletely destroyed Irish trade and Irish industries. As by the Penal 
Laws Catholics were excluded from trade and industry, the suffer- 
ers from the economic ruin were the Irish Protestants, and especially 
the Presbyterians of Ulster, who moreover were oppressed by the 
laws that compelled them to pay tithes to the Established Church 
and declared their marriages null and void. The result was a 
wholesale exodus of Presbyterians from the North of Ireland, more 
than 200,000 emigrating between the years 1 700 and 1 750. Most 
of them came to America, and a large proportion to Pennsylvania. 6 

The Irish Catholics who came to America during these years 
were comparatively few in number, but they were of a superior 
class. Very few of the peasant class who survived the wholesale 
massacres of the Catholics and the cold-blooded and systematic 
devastation of the land, to say nothing of the repeated famines. 

8 Lecky's History of England in 18th Cent. 


possessed enough money to pay their passage to America, and so 
the Catholic Irish of the emigration were those of the higher class 
who had managed to save something from the legislative wreck 
of their fortunes, or those who, like school teachers and persons in 
authority, were exiled from Ireland by the Penal Laws of the 
Protestant Parliament. 

Acrelius, the Swedish Minister, in his History of New Sweden, 
as Philadelphia was known prior to the English settlement, writing 
in 1 758, said : 

Forty years back our people scarcely knew what a school was. In 
the later times there have come over from Ireland some Presbyterians and 
some Roman Catholics who commenced with school keeping, but as soon as 
they saw better openings they gave that up. 

The local paper, The American Weekly Mercury, in 1 729, 
contained the advertisements of some of these Irish schoolmasters: 
"Charles Phipps, from Dublin, at Dr. Lowe's, in Front St." In 
the Mercury of 1 7 July, James Conway, schoolmaster, gave notice 
that he intended to leave the city 10 August. The instruction by 
the Irish teachers was not all "reading, writing, and cyphering." 
The Mercury published an advertisement of "Theobald Hackett, 
Dancing Master, lately come from England and Ireland," who 
announced himself prepared "to teach all sorts of Fashionable 
English and French Dances, after the newest and politest manner 
practised in London, Dublin, and Paris." Much comment was 
made also on the engagement, by some Quakers, of "a biggotted 
Catholic" to teach school at Chester about this time. 

Father Greaton in his visits to Philadelphia in 1 720 saw 
many changes in the life of the city. The little town had spread 
out over many of the streets of Penn's plan; new houses had been 
erected ; commerce had increased in proportion, and in 1 729 the 
erection of a new State House was begun at Sixth and Chestnut 
Streets, where "the surface of the ground in the neighborhood was 
very uneven and irregular, being more elevated than now, and 
it was surrounded with commons, duck ponds and creeks." 7 

Watson's Annals. 


It was in this same year that Father Greaton decided that 
there should be a resident pastor in Philadelphia and a fixed place 
of worship, that the Church might be in touch with the growing 
life of the city, the needs of the faithful amply provided for, and 
the arduous missions of the Province be attended with greater 

Previous to taking up his residence, Father Greaton had fol- 
lowed the custom of his predecessors and celebrated Mass in the 
house of some of the faithful, attended by the other members of 
the congregation. This custom was known to all the city naturally, 
as there was no need of secrecy, and hence tradition has marked 
certain sites in the city as "chapels," which were in reality the 
houses of the Catholics in the early days, who were privileged to 
have Mass celebrated beneath their roof. Watson, the annalist 
of Philadelphia, gives such a tradition concerning the lot at the 
northeast corner of Front and Walnut Streets. The owner of this 
lot (in Watson's day), when he received the property from his 
uncle, had been told "jocosely, to remember it was holy ground 
and had been consecrated as a chapel and that a neighboring man 
always made his genuflection in passing, as he knew it was conse- 
crated ground." Thompson Westcott, in his History of Philadel- 
phia, gives this story of the house, and supplements it with the list 
of owners of the property from Griffith Jones down, who had 
the original grant from William Penn in 1683, and adds: 

The special interest connected with the history of this property, from 
1 683 to the present period is, that at no time during that long space of years 
has it been owned by any other person than a member of the Society of 
Friends. . . . It is impossible that at any time previous to the death 
of Dickinson, in 1 722, there could have been any Catholic worship in a 
house occupied by Quakers. It is possible, however, that some tenant between 
1722-1732 may have permitted occasional solemnization of the Mass there. 

It was precisely in this period, from 1 722 to 1 729, that Father 
Greaton was coming regularly to Philadelphia, and the tradition 
surrounding the site could have no other origin than that this house 
occupied by a Catholic tenant was one of the places in which 
Father Greaton held divine service during those years. 


In this same connexion Watson gives another similar tradition 
concerning the house on the south-east corner of Second and Chest- 
nut Streets. A lady born in 1 736 and who lived in this house in 
her youth informed the annalist that her parents had told her that 
"this house was built for a Papal chapel and that the people opposed 
it being in such a public place." Westcott's comment on this is, 
"it is worthy of little credence," and he continues: 

In the case of the City vs. Friday, recently tried in Court of Common 
Pleas of Philadelphia, it was shown that the lot upon which the house at the 
southeast corner of Second and Chestnut streets was built was granted to 
Daniel England in the year 1 693. Before the year 1 707 Lingard had 
built the house at that place; and the true street lines were so uncertain that 
the house was built into the street some feet beyond the proper boundary. 
The dimensions were so great that the building would have been much larger 
in size than could have been required at that time for any religious congregation 
except the Quakers. 

The lapse of years may have betrayed the memory of Watson's 
informant, for while it appears unlikely that the house at the corner 
of Second and Chestnut Streets "was built for a Papal chapel," 
there is evidence that shows such a title could be applied properly 
to the house next to the corner, on the lot of what is now No. 1 34 
Chestnut Street. 

Among the documents preserved in the archives of St. Joseph's 
Church is a one year's lease, dated 6 February, 1 729, by Thomas 
Peters to John Dixon, "of a lot 16 feet broad and 51 feet long, 
bounded on the North side by Chestnut Street, East by lot of 
William Mason, now of Moses Hewes, South by lot of John 
Harrison, West by lot of William Lingard, consideration, five 
shillings." In the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, Philadelphia, 
there is the record that this lot was on 26 February of the same 
year conveyed, with house thereon, to John Dixon by Thomas 
Peters, for the consideration of £200, subject to the proportionate 
charge of £6 13s. 4d., which was held against the lot and the 
one adjoining on the West, which belonged to William Lingard, 
who had bought the two lots from Israel Pemberton, 1 March, 
1719, and had sold this lot 1 March, 1732, to Thomas Peters. 
John Dixon, who was a Catholic, and a "chirurgeon" or surgeon 


barber, as his will states, afterwards acted as agent for Father 
Greaton in the purchase of the lot on which St. Joseph's Church 
was built. 

These facts show that the property was in the possession of 
Father Greaton's friend and agent, at first by lease, and after- 
wards by purchase. The lease being in the church archives shows 
how closely Father Greaton was connected with the transaction, 
and, as corroborative evidence, shows the presence of the priest 
in Philadelphia. Moreover a tradition exists among the Jesuits 
that Mass was said regularly in a chapel that stood in the vicinity 
of the spot on which St. Joseph's was afterwards built. It is not, 
therefore, too much to conclude that Father Greaton made his 
home at the house next to the corner of Second and Chestnut Streets, 
and there held divine service, to which flocked the Catholics of 
the city, so openly that the place was known as a "Papal Chapel.'* 

Much as a church property was needed, and much as Father 
Greaton desired to build in Philadelphia a suitable and commodious 
place for public worship, this could not be done until the dispute 
regarding the geographical limits of Maryland and Pennsylvania 
had been decided. The Proprietary of Maryland claimed that 
by the terms of its charter, Maryland extended unto the 40th degree 
of latitude, which included all of Delaware and a strip of Southern 
Pennsylvania 1 5 miles in width and 1 50 miles in length, embracing 
the site of Philadelphia, as far as the present Bridesburg. Phila- 
delphia indeed had been called "the finest city of Maryland.'* 
Penn's heirs claimed the land apportioned to Pennsylvania after- 
wards, in 1 767, by the famous Mason and Dixon's line. 

Had there been no dispute on the matter of boundaries, Father 
Greaton would have built the much-needed church, as Penn's laws 
put no restriction on the freedom of public worship in the Province ; 
but as Maryland claimed the city of Philadelphia, and the laws 
of Maryland forbade the erection of a Catholic church, it was 
politic for Father Greaton to postpone the erection of his church 
while the question was in abeyance and content himself until then 
in satisfying the spiritual needs of his flock at his home, in the 
house next to the corner of Second and Chestnut Streets. 

The Founding of Old St. Joseph's. 

IN 10 May, 1732, the heirs of Lord Baltimore 
and of William Perm agreed in London on the 
boundaries between their respective provinces; 
they denned the Southern boundary of Pennsyl- 
vania to be a line fifteen miles south of Philadel- 
phia. The dispute regarding the boundaries was 
renewed in after years and was finally settled in 1 762, by decree 
of the Lord High Chancellor of England, Lord Hardwick, under 
which the present boundary line between the States was run and 
marked by Mason and Dixon. 

The Catholics of Philadelphia received joyfully the news 
of the Proprietaries' agreement, which reached the city in the 
latter part of the year 1 732. Nothing now prevented the realiza- 
tion of their desire to build the church they needed for themselves 
and as provision for the growing congregation. 

The house at Second and Chestnut Streets was in the very 
heart of the city, but the lot was not large enough to accommodate 
the projected church property. It would be necessary to have 
a church, a rectory, and sufficient ground for a graveyard and for 
future building enlargements. The advantages of purchasing else- 
where were apparent, and an adequate site was found at Fourth 
and Walnut Streets, on the outskirts of the town. 

Just below Fourth Street was a broad lot, which John Martin, 
Tailor, had received from William Penn for an annual rent of 
one English silver shilling, and which in his old age Martin had 
given to "Thomas Chalkley and others" on condition that the 
Society of Friends would provide for him as long as he lived. 
The Quakers accordingly, in 1713, built a house for their indigent 
members on the lot "one hundred and four feet from the south 
of Walnut Street," and in 1 729 they had added several small 


houses. The lot was large enough to divide, which was done by 
selling a portion to James Tucker, who in turn sold to Adam Lewis. 
There could be no better location than this for the Catholic chapel. 
Accordingly the ever-faithful John Dixon, on 14 May, 1733, 
bought of Adam Lewis a part of his lot. Dixon had acted in the 
interest of the church and on the next day, 15 May, 1 733, he 
conveyed this property to Father Greaton. The deed preserved 
in the archives of St. Joseph's Church thus describes the purchase: 

Lot S. side of Walnut St. 29^/2 ft. in breadth, containing same breadth 
of 29y 2 ft. for same space 80 ft. Southward from Walnut St., thence 
49^ ft. broad to a distance of 220 ft. from Walnut St. Bounded East 
partly by Adam Lewis' 80 ft. of land and partly by Quaker Almshouse; S. 
by reputed ground of Jos. Shippen; W. by reputed lot of Joseph Shippen, 
and N. partly by back end of Adam Lewis' ground and partly by Walnut St. 

Close to the Almshouse Father Greaton built his modest two- 
story house of brick, in the style of the day, and the chapel 18 by 
28 feet in dimension. The two buildings were connected, as are 
the Church and Rectory of the present St. Joseph's. Tiny and 
unpretentious as was that first Saint Joseph's chapel, named by 
Father Greaton in honor of his Patron, it was epoch-making as 
the first public Catholic chapel erected in British America. On 
the hill alongside the Quaker institution stood the little Catholic 
chapel and rectory, as if to emphasize the harmony that ever pre- 
vailed between the Friends and the Catholics. The path that led 
from Walnut Street to the Almshouse was used in common by 
Friends and Catholics until 1789, when a board of arbitration 
decided that it should be for the exclusive use of the Friends, as 
the Catholics, in 1 785, had opened a passageway to Walnut Street 
for access to the school acquired in May, 1 782, and part of this same 
passageway is still used as the Walnut Street entrance to St. Joseph's 

"A place of quiet seclusion" indeed was the hill at Fourth and 
Walnut Streets on which stood, side by side, the Catholic chapel 
and the "Quaker Nunnery," as the Almshouse was called. The 
ground sloping on the East to the level of Dock Creek was cut 


by the deep defiles that marked Walnut and Third Street, and 
compelled pedestrians to find precarious footway on the paths that 
skirted the shelving banks. Beyond Third Street and below Wal- 
nut Street, on a low hill, surrounded by tall yellow-pines and 
orchards, and facing the well-kept lawn that reached to Dock Creek, 
was "Shippen's Great House." To the southward stood the city 
Almshouse, known by the softer name of "the Bettering House," 
between Spruce and Pine Streets and Third and Fourth Streets. 
Further to the south, from the knoll at Front and Pine Streets, 
called Society Hill, where some houses had already been built on 
the land owned by the Free Society of Traders, were the broad 
acres of the Shippen Estate extending from the mansion on Dock 
Creek. Still further South, along the river, was the settlement 
of the Swedes, clustered around their venerable Church, "Gloria 
Dei." West of the south end was forest-land, through which ran 
the old roads that connected the trading-posts on the two rivers, 
while here and there on the banks of the Schuylkill rose the country 
seats of local magnates. To the north, at Fourth and Walnut 
Streets was the lowland known as Beck's Hollow, traversed by 
the sluggish stream that flowed from the Square at Sixth Street 
and emptied into Dock Creek. At Third and Chestnut Streets, 
then described as "deep and irregular," was Clarke's Hall, the 
grandest house in the city, two stories in height and built with 
balconies, surrounded by carefully laid flower beds and broad 
gardens that extended in the rear to Dock Creek. In this mansion 
dwelt at that time Andrew Hamilton, the great lawyer whose 
defence of Zenger, the New York printer, in 1 740, gave rise to 
the title "Philadelphia Lawyer" as summarizing skill in intricate 
questions. On the east side of Second Street above Walnut Street 
was the Slate Roof House, where Penn had lived and where his 
son John Penn, "the American," was born. At Second and High 
(Market) Streets the busy life of the thriving city found its centre. 
The old Court House and Town Hall, reached by a flight of high 
steps in front, with warehouses on the ground floor, was at the 
intersection of these streets. Christ Church, then recently enlarged, 
was near by, and at the S. W. corner of Third and High Streets 


was the Stone Prison and Work House, very formidable in aspect, 
behind the stone walls that enclosed the property. In the middle 
of High Street were the city markets, built in 1710, by order of 
the Town Council's decree that "every Alderman shall contribute 
and pay double what the Common Councilmen should do." These 
shambles extended until described as "a shameful and inconvenient 
obstruction," and complaints were made to the Council of several 
nuisances, "of persons who blow their meat — selling goods — bring- 
ing empty carts and lying of horses in the market place." At 
Fourth and Market Streets was the Duck Pond, the head of Dock 
Creek, where wild ducks settled in their flight over the city. To 
the northward, beyond where the tableland of the city terminated 
in a precipitous bluff, running from Front to Sixth Street were 
the farms, at Pegg's Run, reclaimed by dikes, from the low marsh- 
land, and extending to the Cohocksink Creek, along which were 
successful tobacco plantations. Further still to the north was the 
village of Frankford, where fashionable country houses stood along 
Frankford Creek. 

To the westward of the little Catholic chapel, below Walnut 
Street, from Fourth Street were green fields and apple orchards 
owned by the Shippen family, stretching out to the Stranger's Burial 
Ground, or Potter's Field, at Sixth and Walnut Streets. Between 
Chestnut and High Streets, above Sixth Street was Carpenter's 
House, in the middle of ornate gardens and almost hidden by 
fruitful cherry trees, that were the objective point of many Sunday 
walks on the part of swains and maidens. The just-completed 
State House loomed up in solitary splendor on the high ground of 
Chestnut Street, below Sixth Street, while far to the west was the 
large brick meeting-house of the Friends at Centre Square (Broad 
and Market Streets). The unpaved streets, that in many places 
were deep gullies, bridged for traffic, the few houses beyond the 
City limits, at Vine and South Streets, and the broad fields and 
woods stretching away to the Schuylkill gave small promise of 
the City that would in future absorb every foot of Penn's plan, 
and make necessary indeed the great squares he had ordered laid 
out as breathing spots, North and South, East and West, "the 


lungs of the city," which were never to be crossed by streets or 
marred by buildings. His prophetic spirit planned the Centre 
Square, as proper for the Municipal Buildings. The wisdom of 
the Founder is proved to-day, that sees the lofty City Hall where 
Penn foresaw it, and the pleasant Washington and Franklin, Rit- 
tenhouse and Logan Squares, serving as breathing-places in accord- 
ance with his design. 

The little Chapel and Rectory at Fourth and Walnut Streets, 
so important as the beginning of the great Diocese of Philadelphia, 
became at once the centre of activity in religious affairs, but it is 
impossible, unfortunately, to fix definitely the date of the first service 
held there. 

With renewed heart and comforted by the success of his 
labors, Father Greaton, now properly established in Philadelphia, 
travelled over the vast territory of his parish, ministering to the 
wants of his flock, scattered throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and 
New Jersey. The weather conditions, described in the newspapers 
of the day, added much to the difficulties of his journeying. The 
Mercury of 1 1 July, 1 734, reports the weather as "so exceedingly 
hot for ten or twelve days that many people, both in the City and 
Country, have fallen down thereby and some have dyed." The 
wife of a man who "dyed" by the excessive heat of the summer 
was herself frozen to death the following winter. The congrega- 
tion at Philadelphia was but a small part of Father Greaton's 
charge, surprisingly small when the great immigration of the preced- 
ing years is considered. As has been seen, not many of the 
immigrants were Catholics, and these for the most part continued 
their journey and settled in the middle and Western part of the 

The actual number of Catholics in Philadelphia at this time 
has been variously estimated. One manuscript, attributed to Arch- 
bishop Carroll, recites the number of Catholics in the city of Phila- 
delphia, at the opening of the chapel, as ten or twelve. This is 
also the number given by Westcott, while the late Father Jordan, 
S. J., in his account of St. Joseph's estimated the first congregation 
at forty persons. The best recorded testimony, however, is that 


of the Rev. Patrick Smyth of the Diocese of Meath, Ireland, who 
was in America in 1 787-8 and served in Maryland by appointment 
of Father Carroll. On his return to Ireland, Father Smyth pub- 
lished a pamphlet on "The Present State of the Catholic Missions 
Conducted by the Jesuits in North America." This not very 
flattering account led to a controversy with Father Carroll. Con- 
concerning the Church in Pennsylvania he records: 

I conversed a few months ago with an old German (Paul Millar of 
Conewago) who belonged to the first regular Catholic congregation which 
assembled in Philadelphia, and which consisted of twenty-two Irish and the 
rest Germans, forming in all but thirty-seven Catholics. The present congre- 
gation is numerous, consisting of more than two thousand. 

In perfect security Father Greaton and his little flock held 
divine service in the little church. A number of paintings had been 
received from England and put in place. Three of these are still 
preserved at St. Joseph's, an "Ecce Homo" and portraits of St. 
Ignatius and St. Francis. The publicity and freedom of the Cath- 
olic Church, though secured by Penn's Charter, were little to the 
taste of some persons in Philadelphia. One of these, S. Keimer 
by name, some years before ( 1 720) in The Independent Whig had 
criticized severely the "wild and unscriptural claims of the clergy 
of England" in introducing "Popish practices," and had declared 
"We are not yet ripe for Popery." That the matter might be 
definitely settled it was taken before the Town Council, as the 
following report shows: 

July 25th, 1734. 
Present : 
The Honourable Thomas Penn, Esq., Proprietary. 
The Honourable Patrick Gordon, Esq., Lieut. Gov'r. 
James Logan, Samuel Hasell, 

Samuel Preston, Charles Read, 

Clement Plumsted, Ralph Assheton, Esqr's. 
The Governor then informed the Board, that he was under no small 
Concern to hear that a House lately built in Walnut Street in this City, had 
been set apart for the Exercise of the Roman Catholick Religion, and is com- 
monly called the Romish Chappell, where several Persons, he Understands, 
resort on Sundays, to hear Mass openly celebrated by a Popish Priest; that 
he conceives the tolerating the Publick Exercise of that Religion to be contrary 
A?nr WS ° f En ^ an d, some of which, particularly the nth and 12th of King 
William the Third, are extended to all His Majesty's Dominions; but those of 


that Persuasion here imagining they have a right to it, from general Expressions 
in the Charter of Privileges granted to the inhabitants of this Government by 
our late Honorable Proprietor, he was desirous to know the Sentiments of the 
Board on the Subject. 

It was observed hereupon, that if any part of the said Charter was incon- 
sistent with the Laws of England, it could be of no force, as being contrary 
to the express terms of the Royal Charter to the Proprietary. But the Council 
having sate long, the Consideration hereof was adjourned till the next meeting 
and the said Laws and Charter were then ordered to be laid before the Board. 

July 31st, 1734. 
Present : 
The Honourable Patrick Gordon, Esq., Lieut. Gov'r. 
James Logan, Samuel Hasell, 

Samuel Preston, Charles Read, Esquires. 

■'1?jty Clement Plumsted, 
The Minutes of the preceding Council being read and approved: 
The consideration of what the Governor had then laid before the Board 
touching the Popish Chappell, was resumed, & the Charter of Privileges with 
the Law of this Province concerning Liberty, being read & likewise the Statute 
of the nth & 12th of King William the 3d Chap. 4th. It was questioned whether 
the said Statute, notwithstanding the general Words in it "all others His 
Majesty's Dominions," did extend to the Plantations in America, & admitting 
it did, whether any Prosecution could be carried on here by virtue thereof, 
while the aforesaid Law of the Province, pass'd so long as the 4th year of 
Her late Majesty Queen Anne, which is about five years posterior to the said 
Statute, stands unrepealed. And under this Difficulty of concluding on any thing 
certain in this present case, it is left to the Governor, if he thinks fitt, to 
represent the matter to our Superiors at home, for their Advice and Directions 
in it. 

The Governor proceeded no further in the matter. The ap- 
peal of the Catholics to the Charter of Privileges was thus sustained 
and since that test, made in July of 1 734, the right of Catholics to 
religious freedom has never been questioned, by authority, in Penn- 

The freedom enjoyed by Catholics in Pennsylvania is empha- 
sized when one considers the legislative persecution of Catholics 
by the English Government wherever English rule prevailed. The 
Penal Laws against Catholics in Ireland were in the full force of 
their cruelty at this time ; and the condition of Catholics in England 
itself may be judged from the following news item in the Gentle- 
man's Magazine (Vol. V, p. 1 06) dated February, 1 735 : 

Sunday the 23rd about 1 1 o'clock, the Peace Officers going their 
Rounds to the Publick Houses, to prevent disorderly Smoking and Tippling 
in Time of Divine Service, discovered a private Mass House, at a little 
alehouse the back of Shore-Ditch, where near an hundred People were 
got together in a Garret, most of them miserably poor and ragged, and 


upon examination appear'd to be Irish ; some few were well dress'd. Several 
Mass Books were found with them. The Priest made his Escape out of a 
back Door, leaving the rest to shift for themselves; whereupon some got out 
of a Trap Door, and others, after giving an account of their Names and 
Places of Abode were let quietly depart, notwithstanding a great many met 
in the Evening, at the same Place, declaring Mass should be said there. 

What a blessed commentary on the devoted faith of these 
Catholics, "most of whom upon examination appeared to be Irish'* — 
exiles who sought and found strength and comfort at the Mass 
said thus in spite of the pernicious laws! In striking contrast with 
this harrowing picture of religious persecution was the peaceful 
spectacle of the Catholics of Philadelphia, worshipping God un- 
molested, and openly and freely attending the little chapel on the 
hill at Fourth and Walnut Streets. 

There in the suburbs it stood in the midst of meadows and woodlands, 
But now the city surrounds it. 

Under the grace of God this blessed state of affairs was due 
to the broad-minded liberality of William Penn, and the members 
of his Society. JVarvilles Travels relates: "The Quakers have 
lived in particular harmony with the Catholics of Pennsylvania and 
Maryland." That this condition of peace and harmony was con- 
spicuous is made evident by the following letter to the editor of 
the London Magazine and Monthly Chronologer, copied from The 
Grub-street Journal, dated 7 July, 1737: 

As I join in opinion with you about the Quakers I shall give you a 
small specimen of a notable step which the people of that profession have 
taken towards the propagation of Popery abroad; and as I have it from a 
gentleman who has lived many years in Pennsylvania, I confide in the truth 
of it. Let the Quakers deny it if they can. In the town of Philadelphia, 
in that colony, is a public Popish Chapel, where that religion has free and 
open exercise, and in it all the superstitous rites of that Church are as 
avowedly performed as those of the Church of England are in the royal 
chapel of Saint James. And this chapel is not only open upon fasts and 
festivals, but is so all day, and every day in the week, and exceedingly 
frequented at all hours either for publick or private devotion, tho* it is fullest 


(as my friend observes) at those times when the meeting house of the men 
of Saint Omers is thinnest, and so vice versa. This chapel, slightly built, 
and for very good reasons, is but small at present, tho' there is much more 
land purchased around it, for the same pious purposes, than would con- 
tain Westminster Abbey, and the apartments, offices, &c, thereunto be- 
longing. That these are truths (whatever use you may be pleased to make 
of them) you may at any time be satisfied by any trader or gentleman 
who has been there within a few years (except he be a Quaker) at the 
Carolina and Pennsylvania Coffee House, near the Royal Exchange. 

On 21 July there is published in the same magazine a reply 
to the above letter, in which the writer says: 

What private understanding may be between Papist and Quakers I 
know not, nor believe there is any. But it is plain that beads, Agnus Dei, 
bells, or even Mass, are in no way detrimental to society and that the Yea 
and Nay folks in Pennsylvania find the Papists as useful in their trade and 
of as peaceful behaviour as any sort of Christians. 


The Spanish-English War.— Fathers Neale, Schneider, 
and Wappeler. — The Sir John James Fund. 

IN THE years following the erection of St. Joseph's 
the quiet life of the city went smoothly on, Cath- 
olics and non-Catholics alike being interested in 
its material development and devoted equally to 
everything that furthered this progress. In the 
meantime Spain and France and England had 
become involved in the difficult arrangement of their respective 
colonies in the southern part of North America and the West Indies. 
The outcome of this friction was the beginning of war between 
Great Britain and Spain in 1 739. Admiral Vernon was dispatched 
by England with a squadron to act against the Spanish Dominions 
in the West Indies; and Spain prepared to defend her interests 
in North America. The report of these war operations and the 
proximity of the enemy, some of whose privateers had manoeuvred 
far into Northern waters, caused intense excitement in the Colonies. 
The situation in Pennsylvania was peculiar, as the Quakers, who 
by their religious principles were opposed to warfare, were in con- 
trol of the Assembly and refused to accede to the popular clamor 
to provide measures of defence against the Spaniards. At length 
Governor Thomas sent the following message to the Assembly, 
5 January, 1740: 

I should have thought myself happy not to be under the necessity of 
pressing a matter so disagreeable to the religious sentiments of many inhab- 
itants. I desire you to turn your thoughts to the defenceless state of the 
Province and to put yourselves in such a condition as become loyal subjects 
of his Majesty and lovers of your Religion and Liberties. As it did not 
become me to distinguish the particular religious persuasion of every member 
of your House I could speak of your Religion in no otherwise than in 
contradistinction to the bloody religion of France and Spain. From what 
you yourselves have declared, I must lament the circumstance of a country 


capable of defending itself but, from the religious principles of 
its Representatives against bearing arms, subject to become the prey of the 
first invader and more particularly of its powerful neighbors. I beseech you 
out of the sincerest affection for your interests to act for the security in this 
part of his Majesty's dominions, as becomes Protestants and Lovers of your 
Liberties, your Country, and your families. 

To this message the House of Representatives replied, 10 
January : 

We beseech the Governor to believe that what is agreeable with our 
religious persuasions he may expect from us, but if anything inconsistent 
with this be required of us we hold our duty to obey God rather than Man. 

A later message of the Governor, dated 23 January, failed 
to move the Assembly from its determination not to be accesssory 
to any warlike measures. In the meantime King George II had 
issued his Declaration of War against Spain, and formal notice 
of this action was sent to the Colonies. The local newspaper of 
Philadelphia, The Mercury, 17 April, 1740, recites: 

On Monday, 14 April, war was declared here against Spain in due 
form; the Governor attended by his Council, the Mayor and Commonality 
proceeded to the Court House where his Majesty's Declaration of War 
against Spain was read. The guns on Society Hill and on board vessels 
were fired. A health to his Majesty and the Royal family and success to 
the British arms was drank. The Governor in a loyal and facetious manner 
encouraged the inhabitants to enlist themselves with cheerfulness and alacrity 
in so just and important cause wherein the honor of his Majesty, the safety 
and security of his subjects and the immortal honor of the British arms 

A significant commentary on the motives for enlistment is 
found in The Mercury of 24 April, 1 740, which published the 
following notice: 

Z3\> Governor's Command: Notice to all to enlist in the important 
expedition now on foot for attacking and plundering the most valuable part 
of the Spanish West Indies. 

In this expedition the fleet assembled to reinforce Admiral 
Vernon at the Isthmus of Panama took part. It was the greatest 


armament ever seen in the West Indies and was manned by 1 5,000 
seamen and carried an army, under General Cathcart, of 12,000 
men, composed of British regulars, American colonists, and negroes 
from Jamaica. The fleet met with disaster, however, as yellow 
fever broke out while the soldiers were yet on board the transports, 
and the enterprise was abandoned after several unsuccessful attacks 
on the enemy. 

During these days filled with wars and rumors of wars, the 
Catholics under Father Greaton's care, and the peaceful Friends, 
were subjected to the scorn and suspicion of those in the colony 
who looked askance on both bodies. The Quakers in their con- 
sistent policy of peace were regarded as disloyal, while the Catholics, 
being of the same religion as the enemy, were supposed to be traitors. 
Some day, doubtless, the world will realize that loyalty to religious 
principle does not necessarily imply disloyalty to everything else. 
Thus far the indisputable evidence of Catholic loyalty to national 
causes has not had this convincing effect. The judgment of their 
fanatical fellow citizens, however, could do no harm to either Cath- 
olics or Friends. In the midst of the excitement Father Greaton 
received the assistance he had applied for, in the person of the 
Rev. Henry Neale, a young English priest of the Society of Jesus, 
who arrived in Philadelphia 21 March, 1741. The following 
letter sent by Father Neale to Sir John James of London throws 
much light on the condition of the Church in Philadelphia in 
those days: 

Honoured Sir: 

You will be surprised to understand I arrived at Philadelphia only ye 
2 1 st of last month. I was from ye 1 0th of June till ye latter end of Novem- 
ber on shipboard; And presently after my arrival in Maryland was hindered 
from prosecuting my journey by one of ye most severe Winters that was ever 
known in these parts: I might have safely rid over all ye Rivers, had not 
ye Snow been so very deep as to render ye journey in a manner imprac- 
ticable, till ye Month of March. Since my arrival, I've made it my business 
to inform myself of ye situation of affairs in these parts, as far as may be 
worthy your attention: and am sorry to find things otherwise than represented 
in England; I mean as to what regards a competent maintenance of one in 
my station: For an annuity of £20 only will not absolutely suffice. I was 


told this by our Gentlemen in Maryland, & find it so in effect. Most necessarys 
of Life are here as dear, & several dearer, than at London itself. The 
Gentleman, who proposed £20 as a tolerable sufficiency, says he only meant 
it in regard of a German, who, he supposed would spend ye greatest part 
of his time among his Countrymen, & meet with assistance from them, being 
to be but now & then in town. But for one, who is to have his abode in 
Town, as I must, he himself declares it will no wise suffice. Among other 
expenses I must of necessity keep a horse in order to assist poor People up 
and down ye country, Some twenty miles, some sixty, some farther off. 
For at present he alone is sufficient for ye service of ye Town, (tho tis a 
growing Congregation, & will in, all likelyhood soon require both more hands, 
and a larger House.) Now traveling expenses in my regard will be con- 
siderable, since little or nothing can be expected from ye Country Catholiks, 
who, tho very numerous, are most of them servants, or poor tradesmen, & 
more in need oftentimes of charity themselves, than capable of assisting 
others. To be short, Sir, I wish I could make £30 do, tho every Body I 
advise with, assures me £40 Annuity is as little as I can reasonably propose 
to live and act with. The Gentleman who lives here, tho he has made a 
thousand shifts in order to assist this poor Congregation, has never made 
things meet under thirty pounds sterling a year, including ye Charitys he 
was obliged to; tho he never was at ye expenses of keeping a horse. The 
rising of our Country Currency, which is now within a trifle of 33 1/3 
per cent, from sterling, contributes not a little to render a sterling annuity less 

I have spent no little pains in considering myself and consulting Friends, 
about ye most advantagious methods of making a settlement according to 
your proposals. And as things are at present a purchase of Land seems 
evidently the best and securest establishment yt can be made for present and 
future Views. Several Tracts of Land have been lately sold for double ye 
price they were bought for a few years ago. And a valuable tract may 
now be purchased for eight hundred or a thousand pounds, yet in a few 
years will in all probability be held at two or three thousand. Nor is there 
any difficulty of our purchasing now, tho there may be perhaps afterward. 
If this proposal of a land establishment seems suitable to yr inclination, I 
shall make it my business with ye advice of Friends to seek out a place yt 
may be answerable to ye end you propose: and begg you'll acquaint me yr 
sentiments hereupon as soon as possible; as also what summ you think proper 
to advance, and on whom we may draw for ye same, in case we shou'd 
light upon a place to advantage. 

We have at present all liberty imaginable in ye exercise of our business, 
and are not only esteemed, but reverenc'd as I may say, by ye better sort of 


People. The Lawyer is in all appearance, and has always been our par- 
ticular friend. The Politician has almost entirely laid aside publick business, 
and lives very retired. 

The German Gentlemen are not yet arriv'd. Their presence is very 
much wanted: My heart has yearn'd when I've met with some poor Ger- 
mans desirous of performing their Duties, but whom I have not been able to 
assist for want of Language. I hope in a short time I shall be able to give 
you a more ample acct. of many particulars, being as yet almost a stranger 
in these parts. In ye interim my best wishes, and constant Prayers attend 

I am, Honour'd Sir, your obliged and humble servant, 

Henry Neale. 1 . 

Philadelphia, April pe 25th, 1 741. 

The assistance of Father Neale in the charge of the missions 
beyond the city was a great relief to Father Greaton, who had spent 
himself for many years in wearisome journeys through Pennsylvania 
and the Jerseys. The German settlements in 1741 received the 
services of the much-needed "German Gentlemen," Father Wappe- 
ler and Father Schneider. The former was a native of Neuen 
Sigmaringen, Westphalia, where he was born 22 January, 1711. 
On his arrival in Pennsylvania in 1 741 he began at once his labors 
among the Germans, taking up his residence at Conewago, where 
he founded the mission of the Sacred Heart. Early in the summer 
of 1 742 he erected "a very elegant chapel of hewn stone" at Lan- 
caster. Father Theodore Schneider was born at Heidelberg, Ger- 
many, 7 April, 1 703. He had been professor of Philosophy at 
Liege and gave every promise of a brilliant career, but renounced 
all to devote himself to the obscure toil of the Pennsylvania missions. 
He took up his residence at Goshenhoppen, about forty-five miles 
from Philadelphia (now Bally, near Reading), and ministered 
to the German Catholics in the south-east of the Province, as well 
as those in Philadelphia. 

The impetus that the Church in Pennsylvania received from 
these devoted missionaries is due to the generous charity of an 
English Catholic, Sir John James, Baronet, of Chrishall, Essex. 
Sir John James was the son and heir of James Cane, who had 

^rom The East Anglian; or Notes and Queries on Subjects Connected 
with the Counties of Suffolk, Cambridge, and Essex, January, 1859, PP- 16-17. 


inherited the estate of Chrishall from his uncle, Sir John James, 
Knight, on condition of taking his name. This he had done and 
was created Baronet by Charles II and styled Sir Cane James of 
Chrishall, Essex. Sir John, the second Baronet, was converted to 
Catholicity by reading the Life of St. Francis Xavier and through 
intercourse with Bishop Challoner. That he might emulate the 
zeal of the great missionary Saint he contributed generously of his 
abundant means to the missionary work of the Church. When 
the needs of the Pennsylvania mission were made known to him, he 
arranged for the support of missionaries in that hopeful field, as 
Father Neale's letter shows; and he secured the permanency of his 
benefaction in a peculiar manner by his will, made 1 5 May, 1 740. 
He died unmarried in the latter part of 1 741 , the baronetcy becom- 
ing extinct at his death. His will was probated 9 December, 1 741 . 
On 2 March, 1 742, Haestrecht James, declaring himself "cousin 
and heir of" Sir John James, began chancery proceedings, charging 
"that the said Sir John James made no such will, or, if he did, he 
was at the time of executing it not of sound mind." The chief 
contention was against the following clause of the will : 

Item. I give and bequeath to James Calthorpe the sum of £4,000 
of lawful money of Great Britain. 

Concerning this bequest the contestant averred: 

And your petitioner expressly charges that although the said £4,000 
legacy given to James Calthorpe is not mentioned in the said will to be given 
to charitable purpose, yet that the said legacy of £4,000 is so devised to the 
defendant Calthorpe for some charitable end or design and not for his 
own use or benefit, and that Sir John James, the testator accordingly gave, 
wrote or sent some directions to Calthorpe signifying to what charity the 
legacy was to be applied or else Calthorpe well knowing the intention of Sir 
John James in devising the legacy to him gave Sir John James some assurance 
that he would apply the same according to his desire and that indeed, since 
Sir John's death, Calthorpe has often declared that the legacy was devised 
to him in trust for charity . . . further . . . that the said de- 
fendant James Calthorpe refuses to discover the charitable purposes for which 
the aforesaid sum of £4,000 is devised to him by the will, . . . and 
insists that he is not a trustee as to the sum, but is entitled to the legacy in 


his own right, though he well knows to the contrary ! . And further 

your petitioner desires that the defendant James Calthorpe may set forth 
whether he insists upon the payment of the aforesaid legacy of £4,000, and 
whether he does not know and has some, and what reason to believe 
that . . . the legacy was devised to him in trust for some charitable 
or other and what purpose, . . . and whether the said Sir John 
James . . . did not, as he the said defendant knows and believes, 
give, write, send or show to him the defendant, or leave behind him some 
note or memorandum touching the end or purpose for which he would have 
the said legacy of £4,000 given . . . and what was the purport and 
contents thereof as near as he knows or can remember, . . . and whether 
he, the defendant Calthorpe, has not since Sir John's death acknowledged that 
the said legacy was devised to him upon trust for some charitable purpose. 

To this remarkable and significant petition, James Calthorpe 
replies as follows: 

14 Nov., 1744. James Calthorpe believes that Sir John James was 
at the time of making his will of sound and disposing mind and memory, 
and further that the legacy of £4,000 devised to him (Calthorpe) 
was not given for any charitable end or design, nor did Sir John James give 
write or send any direction to the defendant directing to what charity the said 
legacy was to be applied, nor hath this defendant at any time declared that 
the legacy was devised to him in trust for charity. . . . Wherefore 
as the complainant doth not pretend to have any right to call in question the 
said legacy of £4,000 given to this defendant, but upon supposition that 
the same was so given in trust for some charity, whereas the defendant 
positively says that the same was not given in trust for any charity whatso- 
ever. . . . Therefore this defendant humbly insists that he ought not 
to be obliged to acquaint the complainant for what use the £4,000 legacy 
was given to this defendant, the complainant not being in any ways con- 
cerned therein, and it being only matter of curiosity in complainant, this de- 
fendant hopes he shall not be compelled to discover for what use, intent or 
purpose the said legacy was devised to this defendant! 

The chancery suit was at length decided against Haestrecht 
James, and the bequest to James Calthorpe sustained. In the 
decrees of the Court of Chancery of 1 748 and 1 749, after noting 
that on 5 February, 1 745, the Court had "declared that the will 
of Sir John James was well proved, and ought to be established 
and the trusts thereof performed," except as to the devise of the 


surplus of testator's real estate which was contrary to the Act of 
Mortmain of 9 Geo. II, added that "James Calthorpe was willing 
to accept of a mortgage on part of the testator's estate for the 
money due on his legacy." 

Having thus secured the bequest of £4000, James Calthorpe 
at once proceeded to place it according to the secret instructions 
of Sir John James which had been necessary to prevent its confisca- 
tion as a charitable bequest. The Ledger of Bishop Challoner, 
Vicar Apostolic of London, shows an account opened 28 Septem- 
ber, 1 749, wherein is set forth the receipt of the £4000 as a fund, 
the income of which was to be applied "£40 (a year) for two 
priests in London to assist ye poor, the rest for ye Jesuits for mis- 
sioned ; in Pennsylvania, not comprising him that was before estab- 
lished in Philadelphia." A note of the Bishop's adds "Mr. C, 
the executor, kept back all the income till Michaelmas, 1 748." 
This was no doubt to cover the expense of the chancery suit. The 
careful account of Bishop Challoner shows that he invested the 
money in East India 3% per cent. Annuities; and succeeding entries 
record sales and more advantageous reinvestments, until at the 
close of Bishop Challoner's account in 1 780 the capital consisted 
of £1600 East India 3 per cents, bearing £48 a year and 17 
French Actions, the interest of which in 1 780 was £79. 1 0s. About 
£80 was sent each year to the Jesuit missions of Pennsylvania by 
the English Provincial. In an interesting document designed to 
arrange the financial relations between the English Provincial and 
the American Missions, and signed by Henry Corbie, Provincial, 
and George Hunter, Superior, 2 April, 1 759, couched in the 
cautious language made necessary at the time, the English Provin- 
cial is authorized to accept the Sir John James Fund income : 

6. Miss Mary d, by timely draughts or otherwise, will empower 

Mrs. Provincial to receive £80 per an. Sir John James's foundation for 
Pennsylvania to answer Life Rents, or other contracts, charging herself with 
the payment of the same sum in Pennsylvania. (Jesuit Records.) 

In the report of the Rev. George Hunter, S. J., 1 765, to 
the Rev. James Dennett, the English Provincial, the income of 


the Sir John James Fund is set down at £80 distributed in equal 
amounts to St. Mary's Mission, Philadelphia; the Mission of St. 
John Nepomocene, Lancaster; the Mission of St. Francis Regis, 
Conewago, and the Mission of St. Paul at Goshenhoppen. 

A letter from Bishop Douglas of London, dated 3 February, 
1 793, explains the reason for a great depreciation in the Sir John 
James Fund as due to the French Revolution, two-thirds of the 
Fund having been invested in French securities. The depression 
of the French values and the increased market-price of English 
Funds, together with the difficulty of exchange, had reduced the 
capital so that the annual interest was only £99 10s. 8d. ; and, as 
£40 were specified as the London Mission share, the amount sent 
to Pennsylvania was £59 10s. 8d. On 17 September, 1823, 
Bishop Poynter of London wrote to Archbishop Mareschal a letter, 
which is preserved in the archives at Baltimore, and in which he 
states that the annuity from the Sir John James Fund, about 
£59 10s. 8d., had been paid by his predecessor previously to 
the Jesuits while they were missionaries in Pennsylvania and then 
to Archbishop Carroll to be applied to its proper purpose. In 
1838, however, the capital was divided to insure the twofold pur- 
pose of its founder. The sum of £ 1 333 6s. 8d. of the £ 1 700, 
reduced 3 per cent., was set apart to provide the £40 for two 
priests of London and the remainder of the Fund, £366 13s. 4d., 
reduced 3 per cent, and £1213 18s. 3d., reduced 3% P er cent., 
the joint interest of which was £53 9s. 8d. a year, was reserved 
as capital of the Special Fund called "Sir John James's Fund 
( 1 748) for the support of Missioners in Pennsylvania." The Eng- 
lish securities were sold afterwards and reinvested in Russian Bonds 
bearing higher interest, and in 1 874 the capital consisted of £ 1 1 1 
Russian 5 per cents, of 1822; £300 Russian 4% per cents, of 
1850; and £200 Moscow-Jaroslaw 5 per cents, yielding a total 
interest of £79 a year. The then Bishop of Philadelphia, the 
Right Rev. James Frederick Wood, gave his approval for the 
sale of these securities, as the founder's purpose could be carried 
out more conveniently by American investments, and the following 
letter from the Secretary of Archbishop Manning, of Westminster, 


explains the exchanging of the fund which for 1 26 years had been 
held by the Ordinary of London: 

My Dear Lord: 

I have the pleasure of enclosing a draft payable to your order of £ 1 790. 
3. 4. the value (capital and interest) of what is entered in our Ledger as 
"Sir John James' Fund ( 1 748) for the support of Missions in Pennsylvania." 

When I gave your Lordship a statement of the Fund in March last it 
had of the Moscow-Jaroslaw 5 per cents, only ilOO, but afterwards another 
£ 1 00 was purchased out of the accumulated interest. 

All the stock has been sold out now for the sum of £1 596. 16. 3. and I 
enclose the stock broker's certificate. The balance of the draft (£193. 7. 1.) 
is for the interest that had accumulated. 

It is not necessary that your Lordship should draw up any formal docu- 
ment; a few lines will suffice, acknowledging the receipt of the money, and 
stating that you will have it so invested as safely and in perpetuity to fulfill the 
Founder's object. I speak of investment, because with regard to our own 
funds we are most careful — whenever it is not expressly stated that the capital 
may be spent — to keep up the capital and to spend only the interest. 

I am leaving London to-day for 5 weeks. Probably about the time of 
my return I shall have the pleasure of knowing that the draft has been received. 

I was glad to find, by your Lordship's letter of June 3rd. that my letter 
of May 4th. had given you complete satisfaction with regard to previous 
payments. Asking your blessing, I remain, My Dear Lord, 

Your very faithful servant, 

W. A. Johnson, Sec. 
Bishop Wood acknowledged the receipt of the draft 3 1 July, 
1874, and gave an assurance that the Fund "would be invested 
as to secure in perpetuity the application of the interest to the 
object intended by Sir John James." The present Archbishop, 
the Most Rev. Patrick John Ryan, received this Fund as part 
of his trust as Archbishop of Philadelphia, and has devoted it, 
like his predecessors, to the religious purpose and intention of the 
old Baronet. Thus after 168 years, the good deed of Sir John 
James bears fruit. This account of a charity is a commentary on 
the sterling quality of Sir John James's religion, and it is worthy 
of note that his desire was made effective by the fidelity with which 
the Fund was guarded as a precious trust, by those in authority who 
for more than a century and a half put into action the zealous 
intention of the Baronet of Chrishall, Essex. 


Spanish and French Wars. — Anti-Catholic Sentiment. — 

Security of Catholics. 

I HE progress of the war between England and Spain 
and the beginning of hostilities against France, 
both Catholic countries, made troublesome days 
for the Catholics of the Colonies. Even in Penn- 
sylvania there was evidenced an anti-Catholic 
spirit of which Governor Thomas's message to the 
Assembly in 1 740 is an index. Father Neale in his letter to Sir 
John James said, "We have at present all imaginable liberty in ye 
exercise of our business, and are not only esteem' d but reverenc'd, 
as I may say, by ye better sort of people." The lower classes, 
however, through ignorant fear were inflamed against all things 
Catholic. That no deeds of violence are recorded in this Province 
during the excitement is due to the influence of the Friends. A 
practical illustration of this fact is learned from the author of War- 
villes Travels, who relates: 

James Pemberton told me that in the war of 1 740 he knew a mob of 
fanatical Presbyterians, with axes in their hands, going to destroy the Catholic 
chapel. Ten or twelve Quakers stopped them, exhorted them, and they 
dispersed without effecting their design. 

The good influence of the Quakers, however, did not save the 
Catholics of Philadelphia from malicious reports, from lying charges, 
and all the persecution that can be so effective without open vio- 
lence. Day after day the papers of the city related the development 
of the tide of bigotry that was sweeping over the country, and gave 
fictitious accounts of supposed Catholic perfidy in other Colonies. 
This could not but, be painful to the Catholics of Philadelphia, 
who thus by implication shared in the charges and became the 
object of suspicion from the evil-minded of the community. 


An instance of such distortion is displayed in the reports of 
the Negro Plot in New York. A fire which destroyed part of 
the Fort of that city was attributed to some slaves, and gave rise 
to the belief that there was a Negro Plot to burn the city and 
massacre the whites. To add further to the excitement a letter 
came from General Oglethorpe, who was engaged in the Spanish 
war, warning the northern governments against Spanish spies, and 
especially priests. The result of the letter was the wholesale arrest 
of negroes and among them some Spanish negroes, prisoners of 
war, who had been sold as slaves. With these was arrested a 
harmless Episcopal clergyman, the Rev. John Ury, who was 
accused as chief conspirator and of being a Catholic priest. There 
was no proof of either charge, but he was put on trial and, like 
the other prisoners, refused permission to have counsel. Ury had 
been in Philadelphia in 1 739, afterwards had taught school in 
Burlington, and in 1 741 had gone to New York, where he also 
engaged in teaching school. The Philadelphia papers, The Mer~ 
cury and The Gazette, gave detailed accounts of the charges, trial, 
conviction, and execution of Ury and the others, always describing 
the former as "the Romish Priest." One of the Spanish negroes 
is described at the execution as dressed neatly, and praying in 
Spanish, and devoutly kissing a crucifix just before his death. There 
could be no doubt of his Catholicity, and he protested to the last 
his innocence of the crime of which he was accused. John Ury, 
however, was not only not a priest, but not even a Catholic. The 
late Bishop Perry, Episcopal Bishop of Iowa, is authority for the 
statement that Ury was a non-juring Episcopal clergyman, and a 
graduate of Cambridge. 

The policy of non-resistance pursued and advocated by the 
Quakers, in accordance with their religious principles, was not to 
the liking of the "jingoes" of the day. The demagogues were not 
slow to see that the way to offset the prudence of the Friends and 
gain their point was to emphasize the religious side of the question, 
and thus inflame the popular mind against the Catholics, by pictur- 
ing all manner of imminent danger from them. The following 
extract of a letter sent, in 1 744, by Governor Morris of New 


Jersey to Governor Clinton of New York is an instance of how 
prejudice may obscure judgment, and give to shadows an appear- 
ance of reality: 

Pennsylvania is in much like condition and I fear our enemies know it 
too well. They have there a popish chapel and numbers of Irish and Germans 
that are Papists and I am told that should the French appear and 1500 to 
2000 men, they would in that Province soon get ten or twelve thousands 
together, which would in that case, be not a little dangerous to these and 
neighboring colonies. 

Benjamin Franklin was a strong advocate for arming in defence 
against the threatened invasion, and took sides against the con- 
servative portion of the Assembly that did not favor belligerent 
measures. His paper, The Gazette, was the organ of his opinion, 
and in 1744, when a Spanish privateer ascended the Delaware 
as far as New Castle, Franklin published a pamphlet entitled "Plain 
Truth, or Serious Considerations on the Present State of the City 
of Philadelphia and Province of Pennsylvania, by a Tradesman 
of Philadelphia." To secure his end Franklin appealed to the 
prejudice of the lower classes. * From the Book of Daniel he 
quoted the portion which describes the Danites sending spies "to 
spy out the land and search it, who found a certain idolatrous priest 
of their own persuasion," and thus commented on it: 

Would to God no such priests were to be found among us. Are there 
no priests among us, think you, that might in the like case give an enemy good 
encouragement? It is well known, that we have numbers of the same religion 
with those who of late encouraged the French to invade our Mother country. 

1 The following advertisement appeared in Franklin's paper, The Gazette: 
Lately Published, 

I. The Purity of the Church of England. 

II. The Errors of the Church of Rome. And 

III. The Invalidity of the most plausible Objections, Proofs and Argu- 
ments of the Roman Catholics. 

Humbly Addressed to the Inhabitants of Maryland by Hugh Jones, 
Master of Arts of the University of Oxford. Annapolis: Printed and sold 
by Jonas Green, 1745. Also sold by B. Franklin in Philadelphia. 

(Jones was the Church of England minister at St. Stephen's Church, 
Sassafras Creek, Cecil County, Md.) 

Maryfe** 11 Library 


Proceeding to show the capacity of the Province for self- 
defence, Franklin thus compliments the Irish Presbyterians of the 
Province : 

What numbers have we likewise of those brave people, whose fathers 
in the last age made so glorious a stand for our religion and liberties, when 
invaded by a powerful French Army, joined by Irish Catholics under a bigoted 
Popish King. 

This pamphlet had "a sudden and surprising effect, in the 
enrollment of 10,000 associators in eighty companies. It caused 
the overthrow of the non-resistance policy of Pennsylvania." 

The defeat of the English forces on land and sea accentuated 
the strained relations of the Colonies; and fresh fuel was added 
to the anti-Catholic prejudice of the English colonists by the declara- 
tion of war in 1 744 between England and France. If anything 
more was needed to make the position of Catholics uncomfortable, 
it arose from the attempts of the Stuarts to regain the throne of 
England. In 1 745 Charles Edward, the "Young Pretender," 
raised his standard in Scotland, in a fresh endeavor to force the 
claim of his father. Every Catholic was believed to be a Jacobite 
and therefore a rebel, and the fact that Charles had been born 
in Rome was capital to the preachers and agitators of the day, who 
called him the "Popish Pretender." 

The following extracts give an indication of the intense feeling 
in Philadelphia. In 1 745, 8 January, Lieutenant Governor George 
Thomas, in a message to the Assembly, said the news from Europe 
is that — 

a most unnatural Rebellion had broke out and was then carrying on in Scotland, 
in favor of a Popish Pretender, supported by France and Spain. At this 
distance we can only pray that the Great God of Battles will grant success 
to His Majesty's arms. I trust we soon shall have an opportunity for offering 
our congratulation upon an event so desirable by Protestants of all denomina- 
tion, as well as by all that are for preserving the freedom and independence 
of their country. 2 

An item of "news from Dublin, 3 1 October, 1 745," appeared 
in The Gazette of 31 December, 1745, as follows: 

We are assured that the Popish clergy in this city and several parts of the 
Kingdom have earnestly and publicly recommended it to the people of their 

' Col. Records, Vol. V., p. 6. 


respective congregations to behave themselves with the strictest regard to 
decency and good manners, at this critical conjuncture, as the best if not the 
only method of preserving the favour and indulgence of the Government. 

Further news from England relates that the Archbishop of 
York in a speech to his clergy said: 

The son of the Pretender is in Scotland, has set up his standard there, 
has gathered and disciplined an army of great force, receives a daily increase 
in numbers, is in possession of the capital city there, has defeated a small part 
of the King's forces and is advancing with hasty steps upon England. If his 
design succeeds and Popery and Arbitrary power come in upon us under the 
direction and influence of these two tyrranical and corrupt Courts of France 
and Spain, I leave you to reflect what would become of everything that is 
valuable to us, if we must submit to a man to govern us under their hatred 
and who brings his religion from Rome and the rules and maxims of his 
government from Paris and Madrid. For God's sake gentlemen, let us 
consider the matter as becomes us, we scorn the policies of Rome. 

The Bishop of Hereford in a letter to his clergy prayed : "From 
Popish tyranny in Church and French tyranny in State, Lord deliver 
us." And on 24 April, 1 746, the "Covenanted Presbyterians in 
America," assembled at Philadelphia, resolved upon and published 
this declaration: 

Philadelphia, 24 April, 1 746. 
Whereas we being threatened with trouble by a Popish Pretender and 
with the Indians going with the French we judge our indispensable duty 
immediately to draw up ourselves in companies to exercise, in order to prepare 
for war, if necessarily called thereto for the defence of our sacred and civil 
rights, and the place where we live agreeable to our testimony. 

The Gazette of 5 July, 1746, issued "A Supplement" an- 
nouncing the victory at Culloden by the Duke of Cumberland 16 
April. "There was great rejoicings on account of the defeat of 
the rebels." Governor Thomas on 1 7th, issued a Proclamation 
appointing the 24th as a day of "Thanksgiving" for this "com- 
pletest victory over ungrateful and rebellious subjects encouraged 
and supported by our ancient and inveterate enemies, the French 
and Spaniards, and by that monster of Iniquity the Court of Rome." 
On the day appointed "great numbers of people attended all the 
places of worship in the morning," records The Gazette. 


The famous English Evangelist, the Rev. George Whitefield, 
was then making a tour of the Colonies and preached in Philadel- 
phia 24 August, 1 746, in a building on Fourth Street below Arch 
Street, on the site of which the Merchants' Hotel lately stood. 
The Gazette, reporting the affair, states that a sermon was delivered 
to "a large auditory and was a most excellent sermon on the occasion 
of the late victory over the rebels," and quotes from the sermon 
the following passage: 

Whitefield set forth the mischiefs of Popery and arbitrary power and 
the happiness the nation enjoyed under the present royal family in the strongest 
lights. No discourse of his among us has given more general satisfaction nor 
has the preacher ever met with more unusual applause, having demonstrated 
himself to be as sound and zealous a Protestant and as truly a loyal subject 
as he is a grand and masterly orator. 

While newspapers, then as now, may be taken as an index 
of popular feeling on public matters, it should be remembered that 
they do not reflect the general opinion on those questions. Journal- 
istic enterprise was, no doubt, in that day well enough developed 
to publish what would attract the attention of readers, even though 
it did not reflect or influence their judgment. 

In spite of murmurings and suspicion, the Catholics of Penn- 
sylvania were undisturbed in their religious practices, and continued 
to enjoy the privileges granted them by the Charter of Penn. 
While an ignorant bigotry sought to render them uncomfortable, 
and even succeeded in passing discriminating legislation, or enforced 
the anti-Catholic laws of England, the good sense, sound judgment, 
and broad-mindedness of the conservative element prevailed in the 
government and rendered these laws virtually inoperative in many 
cases. 3 

3 "The Act of Parliament for the naturalization of such foreign Protestants 
and others mentioned as shall settle in any of his Majesty's Provinces in 
America," provided that none except Quakers and "such as profess the Jewish 
Religion" could be naturalized unless "such persons shall have received the 
Lord's Supper in some Protestant or Reformed church within three months of 
taking the oath." 

Under the operation of this law, Catholics — other than the subjects of 
Great Britain — could not become naturalized. They were aliens and as such 
debarred from the privileges which the law gave to Irish or English Catholics. 
They could not, therefore, hold property, but this was circumvented by a 
Catholic friend, English or Irish, holding the title but executing a trust deed 
declaring the property to be one in which he had no right, but that he held it 
in trust for another. 


The resident priests in Philadelphia and in the Province went 
freely about their duty of ministering to their flocks. Exceptional 
indeed this freedom was, when the attitude of the times against 
Catholics is considered, and the blessed privilege of liberty granted 
the Catholics under the Charter of Penn was unique. The Penn- 
sylvania Journal of 29 March, 1 747, related in its "News from 
London" that — 

Three priests lately taken in a Dutch trader, coming to England, are now 
in the custody of Mr. Butson, one of His Majesty's Messengers, at Charing 
Cross, and have a file of Musketeers to guard them. 

It is said the diligent search is making after some Certain Persons who 
have returned (in disregard to our Lenative Laws) to this Kingdom, from 
whence they were ordered to depart, and whose return, it is strongly suspected, 
is chiefly to disturb our present Quiet. 

In striking contrast to this picture of the state of affairs in 
England is the light thrown on the situation in Philadelphia during 
these days by a private letter sent to the Proprietor, Thomas Penn, 
by Thomas Hockley, a merchant of the city. The letter is dated 
1 November, 1 742, and begins with a graphic description of the 
election riot of a short time before. The election took place at 
the Court House, which stood in the middle of Market Street at 
Second Street, and had a stairway on the outside, leading to the 
voting room on the second floor. The Quakers were in political 
power in the colony, and their overthrow was sought by the Epis- 
copalians and the Presbyterians. The Germans seem to have been 
the controlling element in the political movements of those days, 
and they adhered very generally to the Quakers. Mr. Hockley 
writes that while the election was going on a party of sailors, with 
staves, came up from the wharves and attacked the Quakers and 
their adherents. He gives a very detailed account of the incidents, 
and names a number who were active in the riot, in which sixty or 
more were injured. The whole city, which centered around Second 
and Market Streets in those days, seems to have been engaged in 
the disturbance. The letter then continues: 

I don't blame either ye Gov'nr or his friends, but if please God I live 
to see you I will tell you the whole I know of the matter. Capt. Redmond, 


who is one supposed to sett the people on, is a strict roman Catholick, publickly 
professes his religion and is often at the Governor's club. We have two 
Priests in this town besides the old one, and two young German Jesuits that 
live in Conestogue. One I have been in company with. They won't have 
it that they are priests. I know it for a certainty, for my friend, Mr. Ryan, 
as you was pleased to call him, told me so, and am complaisant to those 
people and in time shall make a good Jesuit myself. There's two familys 
arrived from the West Indies said to be of very good fortunes. I am sure 
they make an appearance as if they had, and Ryan told me twelve more 
substantial familys were expected next summer from the West Indies, and 
other places, but the latter I could not gett out of him, though if possible, I 
will. I was told they grew a little insolent at their Chappell, and assure you 
a young gentleman of my acquaintance, a stranger from Carolina, told me 
he went there and they insisted on his kneeling down at the Elevation of the 
host, and as he wanted to see their ceremonys, he complied with it. I went 
after this myself with young Mr. Willing, to see how they would behave, but 
as they know me we were led into one of the upper seats. I see their congrega- 
tion is greatly increased. They have built a handsome pulpit and have a 
crimson velvet cushion and cloth with gold fringe. I thought I would just 
drop this hint to you, for they are become a great Buggbear to several people 
and whether or not 'tis true policy to suffer these people to go on and flourish 
in the manner they do if it can be prevented. When I was there two priests 
officiated and a third was in the inner room where he sat with sliding shutters 
that looked into the Chappell. Dear Sir, I believe I need not make any 
apology for giving you these hints nor repeat the obligations I am under to 
inforce my sincerity and truth, for if I know my own heart your interests with 
that of your family's is become inseparable with my own, and my affection 
for you cannot be shown in any other way than by giving you a just and true 
acct. of what comes under my knowledge relating to your family during your 
absence, etc. 

The Captain Redmond mentioned was Joseph Redmond, Jr., 
commander of the ship Burford, owned by his father, which had 
been captured from the Spanish. Mr. Ryan was John Ryan, a 
merchant of Water Street. With men like Captain Redmond, "a 
strict Roman Catholick, publickly professing his religion" and never- 
theless on terms of intimacy with the Governor, John Ryan, a promi- 
nent citizen, Robert Meade, the ancestor of General Meade, and 
whose family was one of the two "of good fortune" from the West 
Indies, all members of the Church that was open to the public, 


handsomely furnished and with an organ that excited the admira- 
tion of the Swedish traveller Kalm, it is apparent how secure were 
the Catholics in the practice of their religion, under the liberal 
Charter of William Penn. No wonder Hockley thought it a 
"little insolent" that Protestants visiting the "Chappell" out of 
curiosity should be made to show outward respect during service. 
Penn and Hockley knew that under the laws of William and 
Mary, forbidding the public service of the Catholic Church, there 
was no other place in the English realm at that date where a con- 
dition of affairs existed such as the protecting aegis of Penn's Charter 
gave to the Catholics of Pennsylvania. 

Although this position of Catholic security was not to the 
individual liking of some in authority, they wisely made use of 
Catholic influence in the interest of the Province. The Indians 
of the Western border were more or less under the influence of 
the French, and therefore a menace to the exposed settlements, 
during the war between France and England. These Indians 
were mostly Catholics and therefore the Proprietary Government 
made friends with them through the Jesuit Fathers. The Senecas 
and other Western Indians were encouraged to visit Philadelphia 
and were well received there. "When any of them come to Phila- 
delphia," wrote Count Zinzendorf in 1 748, "they go to the Popish 
chapel to mass." The famous Madame Montour, wife of an 
Oneida chief, came to Philadelphia in her own carriage, and on 
one of her visits had her grand-daughter baptized at St. Joseph's. 
The Fathers attended Indian Conferences, and just before the 
Treaty, made at Lancaster in June of 1 744, Father Richard Moly- 
neux, Superior of the Maryland Mission, was with the Indians, 
evidently by the wish and in the interest of the Pennsylvania Gov- 

To appreciate properly the rather complicated condition of 
affairs in Pennsylvania during these years, it must be considered 
that the Province, and especially the city, was composed of many 
different and often conflicting elements. 4 The Quakers were ever 

4 An extract of a letter of Pastor Muhlenburg, 12 August, 1743, to a 
distinguished theologian connected with a German University says: "In Phila- 


friendly to Catholics, as to all others, while the Episcopalians were 
opposed to both Catholics and Quakers: to the former on religious 
grounds, and to the latter on the political ground that Royal rule 
was better than the Proprietary Government. While the Presby- 
terians and Episcopalians were one in their opposition to the Catholic 
Church, they themselves were divided into Nonconformists and 
Established Church members. To these were added all the free 
lances, religious and political, to whom the doors of the liberal 
Province of Pennsylvania were open. While the Quakers held 
the balance of power in numbers and in the Assembly, they were 
able to hold these disorderly elements in check, and at least pre- 
vented overt acts against the freedom and liberal spirit of Penn, 
the Founder; but the policy of non-resistance followed by the 
Quakers during the years of war in accordance with the peace- 
ful teachings of their religion, was their undoing. This policy 
gave color and strength to the charges of their enemies, and en- 
abled them, under the guise of patriotism, to appeal to the mob 
and bring about at first the weakening of the conservative party 
in 1 748, and finally its overthrow in the decade following. But 
the moral power of the Quaker element was never destroyed. So 
strong was it, indeed, and so well planned and founded the benevo- 
lent design of Penn, that his Province prospered, and, in spite of 
disorders that sometimes threatened its destruction, preserved its 
position among the Colonies as the "Home of Religious Freedom." 

delphia, which is quite a large city, the Roman Catholics have a meeting house 
and two or three priests." {Halle Reports of United German E. L. Congregation 
in N. Am., Vol. I, p. 22.) "There is no lack of Atheists, Deists, Materialists, 
and Free Masons. In short, there is no sect in the world that is not cherished 
here." (Ibid, page 26.) 

Dr. John Michael Browne. — The Chapels in Nicetown 


IN FATHER GREATON'S time the northern 
boundary of the city was Vine Street, and the 
southern boundary South Street. The two rivers 
served as eastern and western boundaries, but 
the built-up part of the city did not extend west 
of Fifth Street. Outside the city lines there were 
the already thriving villages of Frankford and Germantown and 
the growing settlements that afterwards developed into the districts 
of Southwark, Moyamensing, Northern Liberties, Kensington, 
Penn's Township, etc. The Catholics of these outlying districts, 
especially those of the distant northern section, attended the parish 
church at great inconvenience. The dangerous condition of the 
roads and the inclemency of the weather made travelling during 
the winter season a matter of great difficulty, while the vast terri- 
tory over which Father Greaton was obliged to extend his services 
would not permit the celebration of Mass at points comparatively 
near the city, except occasionally and in the course of his journeying 
to and from the city proper. Father Neale on his arrival in the 
city in 1 741 assumed charge of the missions, and thus Mass could 
be said more frequently in these outlying districts, while the visits 
of Father Schneider to the city, to minister to the Germans, gave 
an added opportunity to the large number of Catholics dwelling 
north of the city to receive the comforts of their religion. The 
places in this section where Mass was celebrated were well known 
to non-Catholics as well as to Catholics, and tradition still points 
out two sites on Nicetown Lane which careful research has identified 
as "Chapels" where Mass was said. The most notable of these 
was the home of Dr. John Michael Browne, whose estate included 
the ground now occupied by the New Cathedral Cemetery. 


John Michael Browne was a native of Tuam, Ireland, and 
the son of Bartholomew Browne and Mary, the eldest daughter of 
John Bermingham, a merchant of Galway. Their nuptial contract, 
made 1 6 September, 1 702, specifies that the marriage was to be 
celebrated on or before 1 November, 1 702, and that Bartholomew 
Browne was to receive £250 as dowry with his wife. John 
Michael Browne, the first-born of a family of four, was graduated 
as Doctor of Medicine in the Antonian School of Medicine at 
Rheims, 2 December, 1 729, after which there is no note of his 
whereabouts until 1741, when a deed of sale was made to him 
and his wife Sarah for several negro slaves in the island of Bar- 
badoes. He must have amassed considerable wealth in the mean- 
time and then, like so many others, ventured his fortune by immi- 
grating to Pennsylvania. Soon after his arrival Dr. Browne pur- 
chased a large property in the suburbs of Philadelphia, in the 
neighborhood of Nicetown Lane, and there set up an extensive 
establishment. Under date of 30 October, 1742, appears the 
following deed: 

Ralph Asheton and Susanna his wife, James Humphreys and Susanna 
his wife, the daughter of the said Ralph Asheton, in consideration of £850 to 
John Michael Browne. Reciting the deed from Griffith Jones to Joseph 
Jones to Robert Asheton, the death of Robert Asheton, the will of Rachel 
Monkton and the Deed from Jane Elizabeth Cummings et al. to Ralph 
Asheton, Whereby there was granted unto the said John Michael Browne in 
fee the last described premises consisting of 293^4 acres under the proportion- 
ate part of the Quit Rent. (Duly executed and acknowledged Oct. 30> 
1742. Recorded March 1, 1743. Deed Book G., vol. 4, page 100). 

A further entry in Book G., Vol. 4, page 86, records a mort- 
gage to Asheton of £450. Dr. Browne thus established on his 
plantation, and with his extensive household of slaves, was a person 
of note. Within reach of Frankford and Germantown, Dr. 
Browne's mansion served as a convenient centre for the Catholics 
of these places and the dwellers in Northern Liberties, and so 
divine service was held at his house by the priests from St. Joseph's 
and by those of the clergy who partook of his hospitality while 


travelling to and from Philadelphia. Father Schneider's Register 
of Baptisms, for 1 744, kept at Goshenhoppen, contains this entry : 

Christiana; an adult negress, slave of Dr. Brown, in whose house she 
was baptized; Sponsors: The same Dr. Brown and his wife. 1 

No date is attached to the entry, but the context shows it 
to have been made about 1 May, 1744. The Registers of St. 
Joseph's Church of that time doubtless contained similar entries, 
but these unfortunately are missing. 

Dr. Browne died at his home 15 December, 1750. His 
will had been made 5 December, and was witnessed by Paul Miller 
and John Michael Sommers; it was probated 19 December, and 
named as executors Edward Luther, Esq., of Montserrat; the Rev. 
Theodore Schneider, and Robert Meade, of Philadelphia. A 
description of his property, filed by the executors of his will 4 Feb- 
ruary, 1750, sets the value of the estate at £1509 15s. 3d., and 
describes the plantation as containing 223 acres, valued at £5 
an acre; "two negroes, woman named Hannah, boy named Tom," 
were valued at £30 and £35; "one silver chalice and one church 
vestment" were valued at £15, and mention is made of other 
lands under rental. The preamble of Dr. Browne's will is as 
follows : 

In the name of God. Amen. I John Michael Browne late of the West 
Indies, but now of the Province of Pennsylvania, Doctor of Physick, being 
weak and infirm in body but of sound mind and memory, do make this my 
Last Will and Testament in manner and form following: First I bequeath 
my soul to Almighty God who gave it, in sure and certain hope of the resurrec- 
tion to Eternal Life and my Body to the Earth to be interred in as private 
a manner as Possible in the orchard on my Plantation in the county of Philada., 
Province of Pennsylvania, if I die in that place, at the discretion of my 
Executors hereafter to be named, or such of them as shall then reside in the 
said County, on which Ground I order a Burying Place, or Grave yard to 
be erected for the use of my Family and Kinsfolks as may Die in the Neighbor- 
hood of said Place, viz: an enclosure of one Pole in Length, and one in 
Breadth, made with a lime and Stone Wall of common thickness and six feet 
High, and that round my Grave there shall be built a Lime and Stone Wall 
two feet high & covered with the same. Also that the bones of my Child, 
if they may be found be interred with my body. 

1 Rec. Am. Cath. Hist. Society, Vol. II, p. 322. 


The following legacies are devised: 

Ten pounds Irish money to be laid out for Masses, & to my much 
esteemed friend Edward Luther, Esq. the sum of Ten Pounds to be laid 
out in the purchase of a mourning ring. Item. I give to my friend Robert 
Meade Ten pounds and unto Mr. Theodore Schneider & George Meade 
Twenty Pounds each. 

After several other bequests of his Irish property to his sisters 
Bridget, Mary, and Jean, and other relatives in Ireland, the will 
continues : 

I give and bequeth unto my beloved sisters Eleanor Murphy & Anastasia 
Dillon all my real & Personal Estate situate and being in the County of 
Philadelphia to be equally divided between them share and share alike for 
them, their heirs and assigns forever and in particular I give unto my sister 
Eleanor Murphy all my Plate except what belongs to the Church vestments 
and to Thady Murphy, her husband, I give all my Books and Drugs and 
to my sister Anastasia Dillon my Church vestments and my two negroes Hanna 
& Thom, and all my household goods. 

Mrs. Dillon was never in this country and never received the 
church vestment and chalice, in lieu of which her sister Eleanor 
allowed her £ 1 by her will of 1 768. Thady Murphy, who 
was a physician, was at Montserrat, West Indies, but returned to 
Tuam, Ireland, in 1 752, and later came to Philadelphia and was 
in possession of Dr. Browne's plantation in 1 754. There arose a 
difficulty between the two sisters as to the division of the property, 
but it was settled 1 1 February, 1 754, by a "Deed of Edmund 
Dillon and Anastasia his wife to Thady Murphy" reciting an 
extract from the will of Dr. Browne and 

Also that the said Thady Murphy was in actual possession of the said 
Real Estate of Dr. Browne containing 230 acres and was at considerable 
expense in obtaining and recovering said premises, but the perfect inheritance 
of the said premises had descended and come by will to the said Elinor 
Murphy and Anastasia Dillon subject to the said debts, whereby in consider- 
ation of five shillings and natural love and affection the said premises were 
conveyed to Thady Murphy. (Executed Sept. 5, 1 755. Recorded Sept. 
12, 1755. Deed Book Ii; Vol 6, p. 452.) 


Dr. Murphy died shortly after this and was buried in the 
grave lot of Dr. Browne. His name is engraved on the stone 
above that of Browne. In 1 758 Mrs. Murphy married Daniel 
Swan, afterwards one of the Managers of St. Mary's Church. 
The deed of Edmund Dillon and wife conveying the share of 
Anastasia to Dr. Murphy and his wife in consideration of five shil- 
lings probably contained the proviso that Murphy should pay 
certain debts indicated in Browne's will. Murphy's death pre- 
vented his performance of that condition of the conveyance, and 
Dillon, having obtained judgment, 

on September 1 , 1 760, Samuel Morris Sheriff conveyed to John Reily one 
equal half-part of the messuage, plantation and tract of land containing 237^2 
acres. Taken and sold as of the estate which was of Thady Murphy, deceas- 
ed in the hands and custody of Daniel Swan and Elinor his wife, Administer 
of the said Thady Murphy, at the suit of Edmund Dillon of Mehanugh, Co. 
Galway. (Acknowledged Court C. P. Dec. 3, 1 760. Recorded Oct. 1 2, 
1763, Deed Book II, Vol. 18, p. 351.) 

Sept. 2d, 1 760, John Reily acknowledged his name was used by nomina- 
tion and appointment of Elinor Swan, wife of Daniel Swan, coach maker, 
and in trust for her, that the £600 the purchase money of the last recited deed 
of all was the proper, peculiar and private money of the said Elinor Swan, 
that in furtherence of the trust in him the said John Reily, he conveyed the 
said equal half part of the premises to Elinor Swan, her heirs and assigns. 
(Executed Nov. 21, 1760. Recorded Oct. 12, 1765. Deed Book II, 
Vol. 18, p. 353.) 

The plantation was thus once again all in the possession of 
Browne's sister, Mrs. Swan, and the Sheriff's sale had rendered 
it clear of debt. By arrangement her husband Daniel Swan had 
"taken all the emoluments and reaped all the advantages of the 
estate," as Mrs. Swan recited in her will made 25 October, 1 768. 
Swan appears to have lacked business ability, for "by debts and 
misfortunes" he was "not able to render an account." Therefore 
by an agreement made 4 November, 1 766, "in consideration of 
£50 paid him by the Rev. Wm. Sturgeon for 18 acres of land 
he relinquished all claims on the estate." "He had expended 
£1000 of the estate within ten years and had become insolvent 


and took the benefit of the Insolvent Act," the will relates. Whether 
Swan and his wife desired to live in the city, or whether Swan's 
"debts and misfortunes" rendered the sale necessary — 

On May 12, 1772, Daniel Swan and Elinor his wife in consideration 
of i700 conveyed to Patrick Byrne the said messuage, plantation and tract 
of land of 237^4 acres, excepting 18 acres that Swan and his wife had sold 
William Sturgeon. (Executed May 14, 1772, Recorded July 20, 1785, 
in Deed Book No. 1 3, p. 326.) 

Some crisis must have necessitated this sale at a sacrifice, 
for one-half the property had brought £600 at the Sheriff's sale 
of 1 760. The operation, however, was profitable to Byrne, for 
"6 December, 1774, Patrick Byrne for £1600 conveyed the 
property to John Dickinson." 2 

Dickinson died in 1803, and by his will, which was probated 
21 March, 1808, he bequeathed to his daughter Sally Norris 
Dickinson a lot of ground of 80 acres "and also another adjoining 
tract of about 220 acres which Patrick Byrne and his wife had 
conveyed to Dickinson." Sally Norris Dickinson died in October 
of 1855, and Lewis H. Redner, Andrew D. Cashman, Charles 
H. Mun, and George H. Thompson were appointed apportioners 
of the estate. They apportioned to Samuel Betton, No. 1 , grand- 
nephew of Sally Norris Dickinson, 41 acres, 112 59 / 100 perches 
of the property. 3 

On 1 April, 1867, Samuel Betton and his wife conveyed the 
41 acres, 1 12 59 / 100 perches for $40,000 to the Right Rev. James 
Frederick Wood, D. D., Bishop of Philadelphia. 4 

The property is thus described: 

ALL THAT CERTAIN Tract or piece of land with the Buildings 
and improvements thereon erected in the Twenty-fifth Ward of the City of 
Philadelphia marked on the Plan of Partition No. 1 to the Deed of Partition 

2 Executed and acknowledged 7 Dec, 1774. Recorded 2 9 July, 1776. Deed 
Book D. B. I. No. 15, p. 522. 

3 Acknowledged 29 Nov., 1861. Recorded 1 Feb., 1862, in Deed Book A. 
C. H., No. 28, p. no. 

* Acknowledged 1 Apr., 1867. Recorded 5 Apr., 1867, in Deed Book J. T. (X 
No. 31, p. 258. 


of the Estate of Sally Norris Dickinson deceased "Samuel Betton No. 1" 
Begining at a corner in the middle of Second Street, being also the middle 
of Nicetown Lane thence along the middle of Second Street crossing Butler 
Street and Pike Street North eleven degrees eight minutes and a half East 
seventy seven perches and seventeen hundredths of a perch to a point in the 
middle of Luzerne Street thence along the middle of the said Luzerne Street 
crossing Clinton Street, Front Street and "A" Street South seventy eight 
degrees thirty nine minutes East one hundred and thirty four perches and sixty 
seven hundredths of a perch to a point in the middle of "B" Street thence 
along the middle of the said "B" Street South eleven degrees eight minutes 
and a half West fifteen perches and fifty nine hundredths of a perch to a point 
in the middle of Nicetown Lane aforesaid thence along the middle of the said 
Lane crossing "A" Street, Pike Street, Front Street, Clinton Street and Butler 
Street the four following courses and distances, viz: South seventy nine de- 
grees ten minutes and three quarters West, thirty four perches and forty 
nine hundredths of a perch South sixty one degrees four minutes West 
thirty four perches and ninety five hundredths of a perch South eighty one 
degrees fifty minutes West sixty nine perches and forty eight hundredths of a 
perch and South eighty five degrees twenty seven minutes West ten perches 
and eighty eight hundredths of a perch to the place of beginning. Containing 
Forty one Acres one hundred and twelve perches and fifty nine hundredths 
of a perch. 

This property was purchased for burial purposes and was 
named the New Cathedral Cemetery. Thus Dr. Browne's desire 
that part of his plantation should be used as a burial place was 
made effective after many years. 

Dr. Browne's mansion was a three-story double house of 
rough stone, about 30 by 50 feet, with three rooms on each side 
of the first floor. The building was still standing, with barns and 
outhouses, at the purchase in 1867, and Mass was said in the 
old house before the erection of St. Veronica's Church, but now 
the site of the house and the outbuildings is occupied by Sections 
J, M, and N, on both sides of Avenue A, in the cemetery. 

This has been written of Dr. Browne and his plantation at 
length not only because his land included what is now a Diocesan 
Cemetery, but because Dr. Browne has been known in tradition 
as a Catholic priest. The story gained credence, no doubt, from 
his solitary life, the wording of his will indicating that his child 


had been dead many years; and from the many good deeds done 
in the practice of his profession. The frequent presence of priests 
at his house, the celebration of Mass there, and the mention of 
the chalice and vestment in his will gave added color to the tale. 
Whatever its foundation, the fact is that until recent years the 
story obtained general credence. The place where he was buried, 
in accordance with his will, in his orchard at what is now Second 
and Rising Sun Lane, opposite Greenmount Cemetery, adjoining 
the New Cathedral, was known as "The Priest's Lot," and is still 
pointed out as such by the old residents of the neighborhood. So 
general was the belief in the story that Dr. Browne had been a 
priest that steps were taken by the ecclesiastical authorities to 
remove his remains from the walled tomb, of which the Rev. 
Michael O'Connor, Rector of the Seminary, 5 wrote: "It may 
still be seen, though in a dilapidated state." The investigation by 
the authorities was not satisfactory, and Bishop Kenrick wrote 
to Colonel B. U. Campbell, of Baltimore, 27 January, 1845, as 
follows concerning the matter: 

the owner of the ground notified me that I might have the remains removed 
to a cemetery which I hesitated to do in the uncertainty of the fact. I shall 
probably venture to 'transfer the relics to the Nicetown Church which is not 
far from the spot where Browne's grave is marked. 6 

Father McLaughlin, of St. Anne's, Richmond, and Father 
O'Kane, of St. Joachim's, Frankford, with several men removed 
the body of Dr. Browne 21 February, 1848, to St. Stephen's 
graveyard, at Broad and Lycoming Streets, Nicetown, where, 
marked by the old headstone bearing his name, rest the remains 
of this faithful servant of Christ. Although he had not received 
Holy Orders, it is fitting that after his righteous work for humanity 
and his service to the early Church in Philadelphia he should rest 
in consecrated ground. 

On the north side of Nicetown Lane, on the land once owned 
by Dr. Browne, but distant about a mile from his home and where 

8 Report of the Seminary for 1840. 

* Shea's MSS. Collection, Georgetown College. 


to-day Eighth Street cuts through Nicetown Lane, about one square 
east of Hunting Park, is another site marked by tradition as hal- 
lowed by divine services. The house that stood there in the 
memory of those now dwelling near was known as "The Chapel" — 
and an advertisement in the Pennsylvania Packet of 1 April, 1 780, 
announces for sale 

15 acres known as the chapel with a large two story tenement situated on 
the road leading to Frankford about four miles from the city and one mile 
from Rising Sun. 

In the archives of old St. Joseph's Church there is preserved 
the following Declaration of Trust, which connects the tradition 
with the fundamental fact: 

To all Christian People to whom these Presents may come Greeting 
WHEREAS John Michael Browne of the Northern Liberties of Philadelphia 
in the Province of Pennsylvania Esq. hath by Deed of Conveyance of Lease 
and Release bearing equal Date with these Presents, granted bargained & 
sold released & confirm'd unto Joseph Greaton of the City of Philadelphia 
aforesaid Gentleman a Parcel or Tract of Land lying being & situate in 
the Northern Liberties aforesaid beginning at a stone being a corner betwixt 
the Lands of Benjamin Mason, Robert Meade & the aforesaid John Michael 
Browne respectively, thence North twenty nine Degrees & a half East, fifty 
one Perches, along the Road leading to Wingocacan Creek to a stone, thence 
North fifty two Degrees West to a stone twenty-five Perches & an half Perch, 
thence South forty two Degrees East twenty six Perches & one fifth to the Place 
of beginning containing seven acres 1 and three quarters of an acre to hold unto 
him the said Joseph Greaton his Heirs and Assigns forever (as by the said 
Deed of Conveyance relating hereunto had May at large appears) — that the 
said Joseph Greaton do hereby acknowledge avow and confess that the said 
Tract or Parcel of Land & all & every part thereof with all and singular 
the appurtenances as in the said Deed of Conveyance specified and mentioned 
is made over sold released and confirm'd unto me only upon Truth and 
Confidence in me reposed by Paul Miller of the County aforesaid Labourer 
for the sole use and Behoof of him the said Paul Miller his Heirs and 
Assigns for ever and that upon the reasonable Request Cost and Charges in 
the Law of the said Paul Miller his Heirs or Assigns I the said Joseph 
Greaton my Heirs Executors or Administrators shall make do execute & 
acknowledge or cause so to be all reasonable authentic & lawful Act Deed 


or Conveyance of the said Tract or Parcel of Land with the Appurtenances 
unto the said Paul Miller his Heirs or Assigns, he the said Paul Miller his 
Heirs or Assigns first discharging, acquitting, clearing & exonerating the said 
Joseph Greaton his heirs, Executors & Administrators of all and all manner 
of Rents Quit-rents Mortgages, Debts, Legacies & Demands whatsoever 
which now or at any time hereafter may or shall become due of the said 
Parcel or Tract of Land in any wise whatsoever to the just and faithful 
Discharge of which said Trust I the said Joseph Greaton bind me my Heirs 
Executors & Administrators in the sum of ninety-three pounds current money 
of the Province aforesaid. 

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand & Seal the Second 
Day of May Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and forty seven and 
in the twentieth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second 
of Great Britain, France & Ireland King &c. 

(Signed) * J> ft 

Signed Sealed & Deliver'd in the presence of jOJ £/?£* UrSQulafS^ 

Theodore Schneider (J / U 

Wm. Lowry 
(Endorsed) Declaration of Trust from Joseph Greaton to Paul Miller. 

The witnesses were Father Schneider and Dr. Browne's medi- 
ical assistant, William Lowry. With this document is preserved 
a mortgage on the property, executed 2 June, 1 747, to Dr. Browne 
by Father Greaton for <£46 10s., one-half the purchase money 
of the above property. Paul Miller was the Sexton at St. Joseph's, 
but as he was a German-born Catholic he could not hold property 
unless naturalized, nor could he be naturalized without taking the 
oath of abjuration and supremacy which was impossible to a Cath- 
olic. Therefore Father Greaton purchased and held the property 
for him. The purchase was no doubt made with the intention of 
founding a mission at that point. In the two-story tenement built 
thereon Paul Miller took up his residence and dwelt there until 
his departure for Conewago, where Father Smyth inerviewed 
him, an old man, in 1 787. He was a witness to Dr. Browne's 
will in 1 750, which would go to indicate him as a neighbor as 
well as a friend. At first sight it seems needless that a property 
should be purchased with a view to having Mass celebrated in 
Northern Liberties while Dr. Browne's house was open and free 
to all for that purpose. A little reflection, however, leads to the 


belief that some great sorrow had come to the good doctor. There 
is no mention of his wife after the baptism of the negro woman 
Christina, performed in 1 744, for whom the doctor and his wife 
were sponsors. There is no record of her death, nor mention of 
her in the doctor's will, and in that document he requests to be 
buried with his child. In the Gazette of 1 3 November, 1 746, 
the following advertisement was published: 

Philadelphia, 1 3 Nov. 1 746. 
A Tract of Land in the northern liberties, containing about 200 acres 
and upwards, about 4 miles distant from Philada. 2 from Germantown and 
2 from Frankford; with a large dwelling house, garden, outhouses, orchards 
and meadows, all in good fence, a considerable part well timber'd and the 
whole well watered. To be disposed of the whole or in parcels. Also 
horses, mares, colts, cows, heifer and calves; with plows, harrows, carts and 
other plantation implements ; with reasonable credit. Proposals will be received 
by Mr. Robert Meade near the Premises or by the owner John Michael 

Some serious motive must have influenced the doctor thus 
to offer for sale all his property. A "parcel" of this land, 7% 
acres, was purchased by Father Greaton for Paul Miller with 
the evident intention that, should Browne's place go to strangers, 
there still might be a house where the faithful of that region could 
hear Mass. Dr. Browne did not succeed in disposing of his estate 
and brighter days may have come to him, or the grief that had 
so affected him was motive for the piety and good deeds of his 
lonely life that won for his memory the tribute of the title "priest." 
Mass no doubt was said in his house, at least occasionally, until 
his death, as the presence of the chalice and vestment attests. After 
his death, or perhaps before it, the faithful of the nearby places 
assembled for divine service at Paul Miller's house, and so it 
received the name of "The Chapel." It is probable that the 
house known as the chapel was not built until after Browne's 
death in 1 750, when its need was urgent. The map of Heap and 
Scull for 1 750 shows no house at that place. Mass certainly was 
said by Father Farmer at Paul Miller's house, and that with 
such frequency as to win the name of "Chapel" for it; but it was 


not a mission chapel properly so-called of St. Joseph's, or it would 
not have been abandoned, as it was, to secular uses. The deed 
of Dr. Browne to Father Greaton for the 7% acres was never 
recorded, and when Paul Miller removed to Conewago the prop- 
erty passed into other hands, as the advertisement of 1 780 shows. 
Gradually the house fell into ruins and long afterwards, in 1840, 
Dr. O'Connor, then Rector of the Seminary, in his Report men- 
tions that 

the walls of the chapel now constitute part of a dwelling house. This 
dwelling house in course of time became disused and finally was converted 
into a barn by removing the upper floor. As such it suffered much in a 
fire and the debris was used to build a lime kiln in the neighborhood. 

No church record speaks accordingly of the sacred use of 
"The Chapel," but a long tradition makes sure that the appellation 
was deserved, and unknowing feet to-day trample the place made 
holy by the faith and practice of their forebears. 

During these years great changes were taking place at St. 
Joseph's. Father Neale had died 5 May, 1 748, worn out by the 
strenuous work of the missions, and though no mention is made of 
the fact in the local papers it is probable that he died at Philadel- 
phia. The health of Father Greaton had been sadly shattered by 
his long years of arduous duty, and younger shoulders were now 
needed to bear the burden. The Rev. Robert Harding was 
appointed to succeed him, and on 2 September, 1 749, Father 
Greaton made a will bequeathing all to Father Harding and ap- 
pointing him as executor, with the Rev. Robert Diggs, of Prince 
George County, Maryland. The witnesses of the will were the 
Rev. Theodore Schneider, John Dixon, and Patrick Carroll. The 
year following Father Greaton retired to Bohemia Manor, where 
he died 1 9 August, 1 753. One of Father Harding's first duties 
was to attend Dr. Browne in his last illness and perform the burial 
service over his remains. 

Rev. Robert Harding. — French and Indian Wars. — The 


pastor of Philadelphia, was born in Nottingham- 
shire, England, 6 October, 1701. Having en- 
tered the Society of Jesus at an early age, he 
came to America in 1 732 and labored in Mary- 
land until the August of 1 742. 
When Father Harding became pastor of Philadelphia, suc- 
ceeding Father Greaton in 1 749, the city was populous and pros- 
perous, containing over two thousand houses, most of them built 
of brick. There was a Town Hall, a Market House where two 
markets were held weekly and three fairs annually. There were 
many schools, and three newspapers were published, one of them 
in German. An extensive trade was carried on with New York, 
New England, Virginia, the West Indies, and England. Fur, 
rum, sugar, molasses, silver, salt, linen, household goods, etc., were 
imported, and horses, pipe-staves, salt meats, breadstuffs, poultry, 
tobacco, and pig-iron were exported. x There were flourishing 
woolen and cloth manufactories and paper mills. Wages were 
three times as high as in England. 

The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1 748, had caused a lull 
in the hostilities between France and England, but the constant 
border friction between the Colonies made the Treaty of Peace 
almost meaningless. The surrender to France, by England, of Louis- 
burg and Cape Breton, which had been won at such great cost of 
blood and coin, intensified the feeling between the colonists of the 
two countries. The border quarrels were more or less frequent, 
but a crisis was reached in the Ohio Valley, where the French built 

1 Pennsylvania's yearly foreign commerce exceeded £1,000,000, requiring 
500 vessels and more than 7,000 seamen. In 1750, 3,000 tons of pig-iron were 
exported from Pennsylvania. Andrews's History of the United States. 


military posts, while the English settlers pressed persistently into 
the same quarter to find homes. The centre of trouble was Fort 
Duquesne, now Pittsburg. Both Pennsylvania and Virginia were 
interested in this, as the territory was claimed by both. The con- 
tention became so serious that George Washington of Virginia was 
appointed Commissioner to settle the dispute between the English 
and French, and on his report of the strong position of the French 
in Western Pennsylvania he was given charge of an expedition to 
dislodge them. He met and engaged the French, under Contre- 
coeur, and was defeated at Great Meadows, 3 July, 1 754. Thus 
began the new war, called the French and Indian War. 

Philadelphia was thrown into a state of alarm. The nearness 
of the French and their Indian allies on the Western border made 
the danger seem imminent, though the Quaker Province had always 
been on friendly terms with the Indians. The old calumny was 
revived, and the Catholics were looked on with grave suspicion as 
being friendly to their fellow religionists, the French. The sen- 
sationalists of the time saw deadly menace in the increasing numbers 
of Catholics in the Province. 

In February, 1 755, Sir Edward Braddock arrived from Eng- 
land with 6000 soldiers. With these and the provincial regiments 
General Braddock advanced on Fort Duquesne and gave battle. 
Confident in the strength of his army, Braddock refused the advice 
of Washington and the other colonial officers, and proceeded to 
follow the rules of warfare to which he had been accustomed, instead 
of adapting himself to the new circumstances of a strange country, 
a foe familiar with the land and aided by an army of savages. 

During the days of anxious waiting for news from the front, 
the Rev. Mr. Reading delivered a sermon in Christ Church, on 
Sunday, 22 June, 1 755, on "The Protestant's Danger and the 
Protestant's Duty," in which he said: 

What course shall we pursue in the defence of our native rights and 
privileges, when these dogs of Hell, Popish superstition and French tyranny, 
dare to erect their heads and triumph within our borders? 

Indignation swells our breasts; Love of Freedom inflames us, while we 
behold the Slaves of France and the Inquisitors of Rome approaching to 
crush us. 


After going on in this strain for some time the thought that 
some of these "dogs of Hell" were living in Philadelphia, appar- 
ently harmless, seems to have required this Christian minister to 
seek to explain this to his people: 

If you see the Men of this persuasion quiet and peaceful in the midst 
of your dwellings, one of their own writers, a Cardinal, a person of great 
Note and Authority among them, plainly tells the reason; "We are not 
obliged,'* says Bellarmin, "to destroy heretics, when we are not armed with 
power, sufficient to accomplish it." 

Do I behold our fair streets trod by the lordly feet of French Con- 
querors; our well built mansions deprived of their just owners, become the 
property of the servile courtiers of an arbitrary monarch? Defend me 
Heaven! Frenzy burns in my very soul at the thought! Hide us ye rocks! 
Cover us ye mountains! Let not our eyes behold the ghastly scenes of 
Desolation, Mourning and Woe! 

Arise, O Lord, and let Thine enemies be scattered and by good provi- 
dence grant that neither the Gates of Hell, the Gates of Rome, nor the 
Gates of France shall ever prevail against us. 

Twenty-six years later a French Army "with power sufficient 
to destroy heretics" marched through Philadelphia on its way to 
Yorktown to aid in defending the infant Republic. 

The result of Braddock's headlong pride was the complete 
defeat of his forces, his own death, and tremendous loss of officers 
and men, on 9 July, 1 755. The news of this defeat wrought con- 
sternation throughout the Province and in Philadelphia, which 
seemed now to be at the complete mercy of the enemy. The Diary 
of Dan'l Fisher, published in the Pennsylvania Magazine, October, 
1893, under date of Friday, 18 July, 1755, reports the news of 
the defeat of Braddock and adds : 

The mob here upon this occasion were very unruly, and assembling in 
too great numbers, with an intention of demolishing the Mass House belong- 
ing to the Roman Catholics. Wherein they were underhand excited and 
encouraged by some People of Higher Rank. But the peaceful Quakers 
insisting that the Catholics as well as Christians of other denominations were 
settled upon the faith of the Constitution or William Penn's Charter and 
that the Government were bound to protect them so long at least, as they 
remained inoffensive and paid dutiful regard to the Establishment; the Magis- 
trates met and with difficulty prevailed with the mob to desist. 


Acrelius, the Swedish Minister, who returned to Sweden in 
1 756, wrote in his History of Pennsylvania: 

He who is here known as a Roman Catholic, is hated as the devil, but 
he who has no religion is just as much esteemed for it, as though he thereby 
showed himself quite rational. 

The state of frenzied fear that existed outside the city may 
be learned from an address to Governor Morris, 23 July, 1 755, 
from the Justices of Berks County, which contained the following: 

As all our Protestant inhabitants are very uneasy at the behavior of 
the Roman Catholics, who are very numerous in this county, some of whom 
show great joy at the bad news lately come from the army [Braddock's 
defeat], we have thought it our duty to inform your honor of our dangerous 
situation, and to beg your honor to enable us by some legal authority to 
disarm or otherwise to disable the Papists from doing any injury to other 
people, who are not of their vile principles. We know that the people of 
the Roman Catholic Church are bound by their principles to be the worst 
subjects' and worst of neighbors, and we have reason to fear, just at this time, 
that the Roman Catholics in Cassahoppen — where they have a very magnifi- 
cent chapel and lately have had large processions — have bad designs. For 
in the neighborhood of that chapel it is reported and generally believed that 
thirty Indians are now lurking, well armed with guns and swords or cutlasses. 
The priest at Reading, as well as at Cassahoppen, last Sunday, gave notice 
to the people that they could not come to them again in less than nine weeks, 
whereas they constantly preach once in four weeks to their congregations; 
whereupon some imagine they have gone to consult with our enemies at Du- 
Quesne. It is a great unhappiness at this time to the other people of this 
province that the Papists should keep arms in their houses, against which 
the Protestants are not prepared, and who therefore are subject to a massacre 
whenever the Papists are ready. 

This letter was laid before the Assembly, and on 9 August 
the attention of that body was again called to the matter. The 
Assembly, however, seems not to have been affected by these fears. 
An answer was returned to the Governor that the House had 
examined Conrad Weiser, and that some members had an oppor- 
tunity of speaking with another of the parties who signed the letter 
representing the state of the Catholics in that neighborhood, "from 


which, and what further inquiry we have made, we apprehend 
there is very little foundation for that representation." 

The following month Governor Morris wrote to Governor 
Dinwiddie of Virginia ; speaking of the defenceless condition of the 
colony, he says, "the French might march in and be strengthened 
by the German and Irish Catholics who are numerous here." In 
that same month, August, 1 755, the defeated English forces, under 
Colonel Dunbar, straggled into Philadelphia and were encamped 
on the ground between Fourth and Fifth Streets, from Pine to 
South Streets. Here, close by the Catholic church, in the very 
midst of "the dogs of Hell, popish superstition, and French 
tyranny," there seems to have been no effort made to "destroy" 
the "heretics." No doubt the Catholic women of the city were 
amongst those who took apple-pies and rice-puddings to the defeated 
soldiers, worn out by their long march. 

Neither this object-lesson, nor the persuasion of the Quakers 
as to the loyalty of Catholics, was sufficient to calm the fears enter- 
tained by their enemies. The agitation was renewed on the ques- 
tion of defending the Province, and again the Quakers protested 
against such measures. The popular clamor was so great that the 
political influence of the Quakers was overthrown and the Province 
found itself in the hands of most violent partisans, who aroused a 
spirit of antagonism against the Catholics. 

The Church of Philadelphia, however, was in the charge 
of one fitted for the trying times. Father Harding was as English 
as he was Catholic, and he took care that there should be no doubt 
either of his religious or his political principles. An indication of 
his temperament is had in the following extract of a letter by Dr. 
Thomas Graeme, of Philadelphia, 1 July, 1 755, to Thomas Penn, 
in England: 

The pamphlet lately published in London called The Present State of 
Pennsylvania, how much so ever it irritated friends here, in most, if not all, 
is literally true. That relating to the Germans might have been better or 
more softly expressed, as also the number of Roman Catholics is much 
exaggerated. The other [day] Mr. Harding, the priest, came to my house. 
"Doctor," said he, "I am an Englishman and have an English heart. I 


should be extremely concerned ever to see the French possessed of a foot of 
English America. As for the numbers of us Roman Catholics in this Prov- 
ince, I declare to you that Mr. Snyder [Schneider], the German priest, and 
I have been at the greatest possible pains to collect them, and we cannot make 
up, betwixt Irish and Germans, more than 1 ,600, but was positive they could 
not exceed 2,000." 

The pamphlet referred to was one issued by the Rev. William 
Smith of Philadelphia, under the title of A Brief State of the 
Province of Pennsylvania, &c., London, 1 755. It related to the 
undefended condition of the Province, and strongly censured the 
Quakers for not providing for the defence "of a country in which 
their own fortunes and estates lie," and continued: 

I shall not, however, be so uncharitable as to suppose our political 
Quakers reckon it indifferent whether or not the French shall make them- 
selves master of this Province, notwithstanding persons at a distance may be 
apt to judge so for the following reasons. . . . From the extraordinary 
indulgence and privileges granted to Papists in this Province — privileges 
plainly repugnant to all our political interests considered as a frontier colony, 
bordering on the French and one half of the people an uncultivated Race 
of Germans, liable to be seduced by every enterprising Jesuit, having almost 
no Protestant clergy among them to put them on their guard and warn them 
against Popery. 

The French have turned their hopes upon this great body of Ger- 
mans . . . therefore by sending their Jesuitical emissaries among them, 
to persuade them over to the Popish religion they will draw them over to 
the French in multitudes. 

There are near one-fourth of the Germans supposed to be Roman 
Catholics who cannot be supposed friends to any design for defending the 
country against the French. Many are Moravians who hold some tenets and 
customs, as far as we have any opportunity of judging them, very much akin 
to those of the Roman Catholics. 

The spirit of the party in power showed itself in 1 756, when 
the Colonial Records states: 

In November, 1 756, information was laid before Governor Denny, in 
which Barnabas McGee, Joseph Rivers, Thomas McCormick, Rowley Kane, 
and Jane Dorsius were charged with being disaffected and treasonable. . . 


The chief justice, came into Council and related all the facts proved at 
the trial of Charles Jegler. He then produced certain examination taken 
before him on information given against the Roman Catholicks of this city 
for disaffection and treasonable utterances, viz., the examination of Barnabas 
McGee, Jos. Rivers, Thomas McCormick, Rowley Kane and John [or Jane] 
Dorsius, for whom a warrant of arrest was issued. 

Dr. Hugh Mathews was also arrested. He "had company at his 
house that was seditious, as many papers and letters had been handed about 
in said company, which there was great reason to suspect, contained some 
traitorous and treasonable matter." 1 736, Nov. 24th. 2 

It appears from an indorsement on the writ that Dr. Mathews 
was held in £500 for surety, and two freeholders in £250 each; 
but as there is no further notice of the case on the public records, 
it is to be presumed that there was not sufficient evidence to justify 
further proceedings. Dr. Mathews, however, whether from choice 
or compulsion, determined to leave the scene of such annoyance, 
for in the Pennsylvania Gazette, of 3 February, 1757, the follow- 
ing advertisement appeared: 

Philadelphia, 3 Feb., 1757. 
Notice is hereby given that Dr. Hugh Mathews, intends to leave the 
Province in a short time, therefore desires those who have any demands against 
him, to come and receive their money and those indebted to him are likewise 
requested to pay. 

Whether as a matter of record or to satisfy the popular clamor, 
or as another measure of annoyance, Father Harding was sent 
orders to make returns of the number of Catholics in the Province, 
and accordingly in 1 756 he returned the following to the Secretary 
of the Province: 

Mr. Richard Peters: — Hon. Sir: — I send you enclosed the number 
of Roman Catholics in this town, and of those whom I visit in the country. 
Mr. Snyder [a priest in the country, says Mr. Peters in a note] is not in 
town to give an account of the Germans; but I have often heard him say 
that the whole number of Roman Catholics — English, Irish, and Germans — - 
in the province, including women and children, does not exceed two thousand. 
I remain, Hon. Sir, your humble servant, 

Robert Harding. 

8 Col. Rec, Vol. VII, p. 344- 


The enclosure is in these words: "Number of Roman Cath- 
olics, English, and Irish in Philadelphia County: Males, 77; 
Females, 62; Total, 1 39. In Chester County: Males, 25 ; Females, 
16; Total, 40." 3 

In the early part of 1 757 Braddock, the English commander, 
was replaced as Commander of the British Army in America by 
the Earl of Loudoun, whom Franklin characterized as "fussy and 
incompetent" and likened to the figure of Saint George on the sign- 
posts, "always galloping, but never advancing." In pursuance of 
a design to secure a Provincial army for his forces that were to 
invade Canada, Lord Loudoun ordered returns to be made to 
him of the population. On 28 April, 1 757, Father Harding made 
the following report: 

The Number of Roman Catholics in Pennsylvania in 1 757, that 
is of All Such as Received the Sacraments Beginning from 
Twelve Years of Age or Thereabouts. 

Men. Women. 
Under the care of Robert Harding: in and about Phila- 
delphia, being all Irish (or English) 72 78 

In Chester County 18 22 

Under the care of Theo. Schneider: in and about Phila- 
delphia, being all Germans 107 121 

Philadelphia County, but up country 15 10 

Berks County 62 55 

Northampton County 68 62 

Northampton County, Irish 17 12 

Bucks County 14 11 

Chester County 13 9 

Chester County, Irish 9 6 

Under the care of Father Farmer: in Lancaster County, 

Germans . . 108 94 

In Lancaster County, Irish 22 27 

In Berks County, Germans 41 39 

In Berks County, Irish 5 3 

In Chester County, Irish 23 17 

In Chester County, Germans 3 ... 

In Cumberland County, Irish 6 6 

1 Col. Rec, Vol. VII, p. 447- 

X. MILITIA ACT OF 1757 83 

Under care of Matthias Manners: in York County, Ger- 
mans 54 62 

In York County, Irish 35 38 

692 673 

Total sum 1 ,365 

Delivered by Mr. Harden, 29 April, 1 75 7. 4 

This shows 949 German and 416 Irish and English Catholics. 

Although the report shows the Catholics to be comparatively 
few in number and widely scattered, the authorities evidently were 
fearful of them, should they be allowed to join the army. The 
Militia Act, therefore, passed in 1757, ordered that, in taking the 
names of all persons liable to military duty, the name of "what 
religious society each person belongs to" should be taken, "espe- 
cially such as are Papists or reputed Papists"; and all such, when 
found, were not allowed to belong to the militia. And the Act 
further directed : 

That all arms, military accoutrements, gunpowder and ammunition, of 
what kind soever, any Papist or reputed Papist, within this province hath, or 
shall have, in his house or houses or elsewhere, one month after the publi- 
cation of this Act, shall be taken from such Papist, or reputed Papist, by 
warrant under the hands and seals of two justices of the peace, who are 
hereby empowered and required to issue a warrant for search as often as 
they shall receive information, or have good cause to suspect the concealment 
of arms and ammunition in the house of any Papist or reputed Papist. And 
the said arms, military accoutrements, &c, so taken, shall be delivered to the 
colonel of the regiment, within whose district the said arms are found, by 
him to be safely kept for the public use. And if any Papist, or reputed 
Papist, shall have any arms, military accoutrements, gunpowder or ammu- 
nition, after the time so as aforesaid limited, the same being so seized shall 
be forfeited; and if any such Papist, or reputed Papist, shall attempt to 
conceal such arms, military accoutrements, gunpowder and ammunition as 
aforesaid, or refuse to declare or manifest the same to the said justices of the 
peace, or to any other person authorized by warrant to search for, seize and 
take the same, every such person so offending shall be imprisoned by warrant 
from the said justices for the space of three months, without bail or mainprize. 

4 Pa. Archives, III, 144. 


This bill, however, the only anti-Catholic Act passed in Penn- 
sylvania, was rejected by the King, George HI, and did not become 
a law. Its rejection was not due to its anti-Catholic tenor, but 
because it gave the right to the regiments to elect their own officers. 

So little affected were Father Harding and his congregation 
by these manifestations of the anti-Catholic spirit, and so secure 
were they in the protection granted them under Penn's Charter, 
that in 1757 the original chapel, being then too small to accommo- 
date the growing congregation, was improved and so enlarged as 
to make a building of 40 by 60 feet. 

On 1 9 and 20 November, 1 755, three vessels arrived at Phila- 
delphia with more than 400 Acadian exiles. Their arrival at a 
time when the French had gained victories in Western Pennsylvania 
filled the inhabitants with alarm, and Governor Morris prevented 
the recruiting company of a regiment, then in the city, from return- 
ing to New York. After a long delay the exiles were allowed to 
disembark, and fear of them gave place to pity at the forlorn state 
of these poor, heartbroken exiles, half-naked and starved and worn 
out from the hardships of their cruel journey. Temporary quarters 
were made for them in tents on the vacant land on the north side 
of Pine Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets. The pastor of 
St. Joseph's, Father Harding, and members of the Society of Friends 
led by Anthony Benezet ministered to them from their private funds 
and secured public aid for them, and endeavored to alleviate the 
sufferings of these innocent victims of unjust persecution. During 
the following five years upward of £7000 were disbursed in the 
maintenance of the exiles, though neither the Crown nor the Pro- 
prietors contributed anything toward them. 

The kind offices of those interested, however, were not power- 
ful enough to soften the mental sufferings of the Acadians, the 
disappointment at their repeated efforts to secure justice, or save 
them from disease, especially the small-pox, so that more than one- 
half of them succumbed and were buried in the south-eastern part 
of Washington Square, which was then the Catholic portion of 
the Stranger's Burial Ground. Again and again Crown and As- 
sembly were petitioned in dignified language, but without avail. 


Once the Assembly proposed that the children of the exiles be 
"bound out to service," but friends and relatives who realized the 
jeopardy to their Catholic faith in this, refused to part with the 
children. Of those who survived some were sent to France, some 
to other colonies to rejoin lost relatives, and the rest melted imper- 
ceptibly into the population of the city. To-day there is no trace 
in Philadelphia of the sojourn of those exiles: no monument yet 
marks the hallowed earth at Sixth and Locust Streets where lies 
the dust of so many hundred Catholics who died in a strange land, 
exiled and martyred for their stanch adherence to their creed. 

These men, women, and children who lived for years objects 
of contempt or of charity in Philadelphia and the other cities of 
the Colonies were the inhabitants of Acadia, the French settlement 
east of the Penobscot, embracing Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, 
and part of what is now the State of Maine. The history of the 
settlement from its first foundation by James Cartier, soon after 
1 534, was very varied under alternating French and English rule. 
By the peace of Utrecht in 1713 England was given control of 
their territory, the French inhabitants receiving protection as English 
subjects and being excused from bearing arms against France. 
During the following fifty years the French neutrals had their 
privileges confirmed by England. In 1 755, however, the then 
Governor Laurence, making nothing of the long-recognized position 
of the neutrals, demanded that they take the oath of supremacy 
to the English crown, without the provision of exemption as neutrals. 
This they refused to do, not only because their position as loyal 
subjects of England had been well established, but also because 
the oath of allegiance contained a denial of their faith as Roman 
Catholics. Laurence, who had no doubt counted on their refusal, 
and who had been moved more by the desire to possess the rich 
lands and cattle of the Acadians than by loyalty to England, at 
once ordered the deporting of the Acadians and the confiscation of 
their possessions. The result was that the Acadians who had lived 
so long in peaceful happiness, prosperous, devoutly religious, and 
content with their simple pastoral life, found themselves in Septem- 
ber, 1755, made prisoners, dragged from their homes, robbed of 


their possessions, and herded like criminals on vessels that after 
months of stormy voyage landed them among strangers, in a land 
foreign to them in language and religion. Seven thousand of these 
innocent victims of England's cupidity were scattered along the 
Atlantic coast. Families were separated, parents and children, 
husbands and wives, deported in different vessels; and so these 
people whose only crime was their insistence on their religious rights 
to keep their faith, were made paupers on the streets of the cities 
of the Colonies. Longfellow in his poem of Evangeline describes 
this great act of injustice, and even the historians favorable to Eng- 
land have been unable to defend the atrocious deed against these 
people who died for their faith. "They hugged it to their naked 
bosoms more closely because they were persecuted and exiles. They 
died broken-hearted, and the stain of their agony rests on the English 

»♦ 5 


6 Contributions to American History, by Hon. Wm. B. Reed, Memoirs of 
the Hist. Soc. of Pa., Vol. VI, pp. 283-316. 

Father Harding. — The Founding of St. Mary's. — Father 


HE position of Philadelphia, geographically and 
politically, during the French-Indian troubles 
made it a centre of importance. The political 
troubles incidental to the state of war only indi- 
cated, as all political dissension does, the city's 
vitality. Philadelphia was steadily growing in 
population and stretching out along the lines planned by the Pro- 
prietor, William Penn. The spiritual progress of the Catholic 
Church kept pace with the material prosperity and growth of the 
community, and as has been seen, was in no wise obstructed by 
the anti-Catholic animus of law or individuals. 

Father Harding, in his wise administration, was working in 
full sympathy with the conditions surrounding him, and with a 
lively appreciation of the future life of the Church in the growing 
city. He therefore arranged a definite plan the better to insure 
the stability of the Catholic contingent, which had now become a 
recognized part of the city's life, by purchasing a suitable site where- 
on the church building of the near future could be erected. There 
was urgent need of a Catholic cemetery, as the interments that had 
been made in the churchyard of Saint Joseph's had taxed that 
limited space to the utmost. From 1 749, the first year of Father 
Harding's administration, the burials numbered 218, and a consid- 
erable number, of which there is no record, had been made before 
that date, from the opening of the church in 1 732. Catholic inter- 
ments had been made also in the public square at Sixth and Walnut 
Streets, now known as Washington Square. This tract of ground 
was divided into triangles by two creeks, one running from the 
south-west at Seventh and Locust Streets, while the other, entering 
at Seventh and Walnut Streets, swept in a half circle to the north- 



east at Sixth and Walnut Streets and thence to Dock Creek. The 
north-western portion of the Square was the Potter's Field — the 
pauper burial-ground of the city; and the south-eastern section was 
devoted to the burial of Catholics. Here were buried the Acadians 
who had succumbed to disease and hardship. It is quite probable 
also that this public ground was used as a temporary burial-place 
for such as could not secure graves in the limited church-yard space. 1 

A plot of ground, suitable in every way for Father Harding's 
purpose, had been advertised for sale in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 
13 April, 1 758, by Edward Shippen, of Lancaster: "Lots of land 
for sale for one-half in hand and the other half to be paid in twelve 
months' time." Among the number offered were: four lots of 26 
feet and three-quarters each, lying together in Fourth St., below 
Harrington's, extending 396 feet to Fifth Street. Father Hard- 
ing lost no time in opening a subscription list for the purchase of 
this property as a cemetery. 

The following eighty- four persons donated ,£328 15s. 6d. 


Rev. Robt. Harding. ... 6 

John Reardon 5 

Robt. Tustt 13 

Walter Davis 6 

Wm. Hussey 5 

Wm. Fitzgerald 6 

Jos. White 13 

Bryan O'Hara 6 

Roger Heffernan 5 

Thomas Linnan 5 

Thos. Fitzsimons, Jr 8 

John Moore 5 

Thos. Mallaby 5 

Garret & Geo. Meade ... 8 

Edw. Harrington 5 

Jno. Gilliard 1 

Thos. England 5 

15 . . Patrick Kennedy 3 

8 . . Barth. Timms 2 14 

10 . . Barth. Kelsey 8 2 

15 .. Wm. Gallagher 5 .. 

8 . . Elizabeth Franks 3 

15 . . Barnaby Doyle 5 8 

10.. Mich. Robinson 2 10 

15 .. Thos. Mullen 2 .. 

8 . . Dennis Fowloe 2 14 

8 . . Thos. Campbell 1 10 

5 . . Jno. Clarke 1 14 

8 . . John Cottonger 5 8 

8 . . Jos. Cauffman 5 

2 .. Jos. Eck 2 14 

8 . . Paul Esling 3 

10 . . Adam Engenbrand 3 

8 . . Mich. Wolf 3 

1 "John Geo. Esling, date of death unknown, is said to have been buried 
in a section of what is now Washington Square, which was at that time used 
as a burial place for Catholics." (Vol. II, p. 339, Records of Am. Cath. Hist. 
Society, by C. H. A. Esling, Esq.) 




Timothy Carrell 3 

Patrick Motley 5 

Dan'l Swan 8 2 

Patrick Farrell 5 8 

Edw. Barrett 5 8 

Chas. Gore 2 . . 

Jas. Reynolds 7 10 

Barth. Tool 2 10 

John Kelly 2 10 

Wm. Barrett 2 14 

Dan'l Flaherty 5 8 

Philip Murphy 2 14 

Eliza Meredith 5 

Thos. Fitzsimons 5 8 

Elenor Hinley 2 10 

Wm. O'Brien 2 10 

Dudley Dougherty 5 . . 

Arthur Cosgrove 2 10 

Paul Miller 2 10 

Peter Gough 2 10 

James Walsh 2 10 

Darby Savage 2 10 

Jas. Byrne 5 8 

Patrick McEwen 2 10 

Philip Shilling 2 10 

Mark Hormecker 2 10 

Cath. Spangler 3 10 

Fannie Semmer 2 10 



Bartholomew Baker .... 2 

Anna Swartzman 2 

Steph. & Wm. Suermer. . 2 

Fred. Gressen * . . . . 3 

Wm. White 2 

Capt. Edw. Butler 2 

Chas. Smith 2 

Jas. Ward 2 

Dan'l Boyle 1 10 

Patrick O'Neal 2 10 

Adam Heck 3 

Tobias Rudolph 2 

Geo. Nix 2 

Peter Field 2 

John Walter 2 

Jos. Canin 2 

Jno. Rodiges 2 

Anthony Groves 2 

Mich. Clark 2 

Sebastian Peforr 2 



328 15 6 

On 1 May, 1 759, the purchase was made and a lot of ground 
measuring 63 feet front on Fourth Street and extending 396 feet 
to Fifth Street, was conveyed by Joseph Shippen and his wife to 
James Reynolds (mast-maker), and Bryan O'Hara (peruke- 
maker) . On 22 January, 1 760, Reynolds and O'Hara conveyed 
this property to Daniel Swan (chaise-maker), Thomas Mallaby 
(rigger), John Cottringer (tailor), Edward Harrington (carpen- 
ter, who occupied the ground to the northward), William Hussey 
(tailor), and James White (merchant). The deed of purchase 
was acknowledged 26 January, 1 760. Swan and his associators 
made a declaration of trust that the property was "conveyed to us 
by the direction and appointment of the members of a congregation 
professing the Roman Catholic religion, and belonging to the Roman 
Catholic chapel on the south side of Walnut St."; also that said 



property "was purchased with the proper monies raised by a volun- 
tary subscription or contribution of the said congregation to the 
intent only that we or such or so many of us as shall be and con- 
tinue in unity and religious fellowship with the said congregation 
should stand and be seized of the said lot of ground and premise 
to the uses, intents and purposes ... for the benefit, use, 
service and behoof of the said chapel and congregation, and for a 
place to bury their dead." 2 This Declaration of Trust was not 

recorded until 28 January, 1 788, or twenty-eight years after it was 
executed. 3 

Many if not all of the bodies buried in the old churchyard were 
removed to the new cemetery, and the relatives of those who had 
been buried temporarily at Sixth and Locust Streets arranged their 
removal there also. 

Father Harding's plan had been not merely to provide more 
ample burial facilities, but the erection of a large and commodious 
church on the ground secured. Accordingly in I 762 he opened 
a subscription list for this purpose and received £1315 Is. 6d. 
The following were the contributors: 

4 Dr. Nicholas Thompson 70 

Jos. Cauffman 55 

Geo. Meade 40 

James Byrne 30 

James White 30 

Jos. Eck 30 

Timothy Carrell 27 

Charles Smith 25 

Paul Miller 25 

Mark Honyker 25 

Darby Savage 22 


d. £ 

Barth. Tool 10 

Patrick Fortin 10 

Bath Baker 10 

Thomas England 10 

Francis Murphy 10 

Peter Hagner 9 

Michael Clark 9 

Cath. Arnold 8 

Patrick O'Neal 7 

Paul Esling 7 

Joseph Finauer 7 


2 The first burial in the new burial-ground was of James White's child. 

8 Deed-Book D, p. 462. 

4 Father Harding's name does not appear in this list, but it is probably his 
subscription (the largest) that is credited to "Dr. Nicholas Thompson." No 
person of this name ever lived in Philadelphia, so far as investigation can 




£ s. d 

Thomas Wilcox 20 

William Hussey 20 

Cath. Spangler 18 

Fred. Gresser 17 

Thomas Mallaby 16 

Thomas Burke 15 

Martin Pendergart 14 

Dennis Dougherty 13 

Anthony Groves 12 

Michael Robeson 12 

James Reynolds 13 10 

Bryan O'Hara 10 

Thos. Leonard 10 

Barth. Kelsey 10 

Dudley Dougherty 15 

James Walsh 10 

Edward Barrett 10 

Patrick Farrell 10 

John Power 10 

Capt. Deady 10 

Edw. Butler 10 .. 

Capt, M'Carty 10 .. 

John Flanagan 10 

Mathias Leamy 10 

Bernard and Yugiez ... 1 

Andrew Englehard 5 . . 

Wm. Gallagher 5 

John Sonerwald 5 

George Mertz 5 

Rudolph Neel 5 

Capt. Edw. Walsh .... 5 
Capt. John Mullonny ... 5 

John Bryan 5 

Stephen Forage 5 

Launa Shimey 5 2 

John Hackett 4 

Nicholas Field 4 

Anthony Otman 4 

Mr. Sheet 4 

George Lachler 4 

John Hiser 3 15 

£ s. d. 

Francis Sinier 7 

Dennis Fowle 6 

John Walter 8 

Andrew Kesler 6 

Wm. T. Dorf 6 

Tobias Rudolph 5 10 

Adam Cake 5 

John Stacey 5 

James Murray 5 

Michael Ryan 5 

Patrick Motley 5 

Jos. Cassin 5 

John Gibbons 5 

Daniel McCarthy 5 

John Byrne 5 

James Curry 5 

Ann. Reardon 5 

James Steel 5 

John Dugan 5 

Thos. Clark 5 

John Goggen 5 

Martin Christy 5 

John Wilcox 5 

John Blandon 5 15 

John Handley 5 

Peter Conway 2 7 

Patrick Harley 2 

John Hughes 3 

Patrick Flanagan 2 

Christian O'Brien 2 

Benjamin Elert 2 

John B. Hasner 2 

Michael Coon 2 

John Slaughter 2 5 

Henry Snider 2 10 

Stephen Suermer 2 

Jacob Shibadder 2 

Christian deShorty 2 

Ludovick Urla 2 

George Hert 2 

Darby O'Daniel 2 



Charles Connor 3 

Patrick Kannatty 3 

John Casey 3 

Roger O'Neal 3 

Capt. Gash 3 

Jeremy Hellegan 3 

Dennis Dunn 3 

Mr. Crookshanks 3 

Isaac Vanhart 3 

Peter Landry 3 

Henry Arnold 3 

John Moyer 3 

Wm. Suermer 3 

Francis Waldrick 3 

Michael Wolf 3 

And. Swartzman 3 

Adam Wilhilm 3 

Philip Shilling 3 

Henry Hughes 3 

Charles Cantuay, 3 

Hugh Doyle 2 

James Plunkett 2 

Richard Sweetman 2 

Peter Gault 2 

Samuel Watts 2 

Michael Little 2 

William Nichols 2 

John Cammel 2 

Lewis Murphy 2 

Dennis McGra 2 

James Freeland 2 

James Gaillard 2 

Francis Lynch 2 

Richard Butler 2 

John Keening 2 

James Rice 2 

Mrs. Atkinson 2 

Mrs. Gorgoran 2 

Nicholas Kirvan 9 

Jos. Price 7 

John M'Laughlin 7 









Francis Farnan 2 

George Connolly 2 

Mrs. Swan 2 

Mrs. Robinson 2 

Michael Robinson 1 

Walter Leary 2 

Luke Clark 1 

Anthony Connick 1 2 

Mrs. Gordon 1 

Thomas Stuart 1 

John de Mentey 1 10 

Richard Whelan 1 10 

John Morton 1 

Philip Freed 1 

Daniel Lavy 1 10 

John Parchal 1 

Andrew Gallagher 1 10 

James Rosney 1 2 

Philip Neal 1 

And. Sheridan 1 

Mrs. Walsh 1 

Peter Caput 1 

Peter Jones 1 

Anthony Martin 1 

Francis Starr 1 10 

James Halteen 1 10 

Martha Bolton 1 10 

John Broe 1 

Thomas Mullin 1 

Barthol. Gaule 1 10 

And. Belew 1 10 

George Davis 1 . . 

Thomas Agnew 1 

And. Hopkintin 1 10 

John Poor 1 10 

William Croty 1 10 

Charles Eustack 1 10 

Bernd Fearis 9 

Adam Primmer 3 

John Honyker 3 

Wm. Poyntell 3 . . 

s. d 
2 6 


£ s. d. £ s. 

John Farran 7 10 . . Jacob Kline 3 

John Taggart 7 10 . . Honora Lee 3 

Charles de Costa 7 2 6 Peter Regimenter 3 

Thomas Fitzgerald 7 . . . . Edwin Nugent 3 

Peter Blancher 6 15 . . Lawrence Hayes 3 

James Curran 6 . . . . Ingelbert Menser 3 

John Danaghue 5 3 6 Jeremiah Collins 2 5 

Joseph Eck 5 . . . . Paul Fields 1 10 

Casper Heighly 5 . . . . Jos. Springer 1 2 

James Kelly 4 7 . . Barth. Tool 1 2 

Louis Loukay 4 . . . . Alex. Rogers 15 

Jacob Tryme 3 15 . . Owen Carrigan 15 

Charles Bowman 3 2 6 Widow Lederman 15 

John Tracy 3 . . . . Don Francisco's servant. . . 8 

John Comely 3 . . . . Daniel Fitzpatrick 7 

Patrick Crogan 3 . . . . Widow Girts 7 

Emanuel Bryan 3 . . . . Widow Pillar 7 4 

The new church was built in 1 763 and endowed under the 
name of Saint Mary. There is no known record of the corner- 
stone laying, or the formal opening of the church. Both cere- 
monies were probably without public display, and neither seems 
to have been considered of sufficient importance to be noted in the 
local papers. There is a tradition that during the erection of the 
church an attack was made on it by night and part of the structure 
destroyed, but a repetition of this outrage was prevented by a night- 
watch composed of Tobias Rudolph, who kept the Red Lion Hotel, 
on Market Street above Sixth Street, and others until the building 
was complete. The new church was without galleries and the 
altar was at the eastern end of the church, for orientation was 
observed in all the old churches. With the exception of the 
entrances which were at the western end of the church, north and 
south, the outward appearance of the church was as it is to-day. 
It measured 50 by 80 feet, but in 1810 it was enlarged by 22 feet 
9 inches in width and 20 feet in length. 

Saint Mary's was the parish church, supported by the rentals 
of certain properties, a revenue from Sir John James's Fund, and 


the voluntary contributions of the faithful. The Sunday services, 
with the exception of an early Mass at St. Joseph's, were held in 
Saint Mary's, and the old church was used as a chapel where the 
weekday Masses were said. Father Harding continued to reside 
there, with his assistant, the Rev. Ferdinand Farmer, who had come 
from Lancaster to Philadelphia, 27 August, 1 758, to attend the 
Germans of the parish in the City and State. 

Father Farmer, whose family name was Steinmeyer, was born 
in Swabia, Germany, 1 3 October, 1 720, and entered the Society 
of Jesus at Landesperge, 26 September, 1 743. He was thus de- 
scribed by Mrs. Corcoran to the Rev. P. A. Jordan, S. J.: "He 
was tall and upright, of ruddy, pleasing countenance; graceful in 
manners and fluent in conversation ; full of bonhomie and anecdotes. 
. . . In his deportment he was gentle, like his Model, but show- 
ing by the bright flash of his light-grey eyes that he could feel for 
his Master's honor and defend His cause." Father Jordan adds: 
"He was a philosopher and astronomer, intimate with the literati 
of his day, and in 1 779 one of the Trustees of the University of 
Pennsylvania, soon to be Philadelphia's pride." He is described 
in a pamphlet issued in 1820-2 as being "of a slender form" and 
having "a countenance mild, gentle and beaming with an expression 
almost seraphic. . . . My childish imagination," said the 
writer, "ever personified in him one of the Apostles." 

In addition to the duty of attending to the Germans in this 
city, he journeyed as a missionary throughout Pennsylvania, New 
Jersey and New York, among the scattered people of these 
regions. By the Catholics of New York his name should be held 
in veneration as having been, in reality, the Apostle of the Faith 
in that city. Father Farmer's mental attainments were of the high- 
est order and his ability was recognized by the scholars of the time. 
At the reorganization of the University of Pennsylvania by the 
Assembly, in 1 779, Father Farmer became a Trustee, under the 
provision of the law that in addition to the persons named, trustees 
should consist of the senior pastors of the six principal denomina- 


During the nine years that followed the opening of the new 
church, Father Harding labored in the extensive territory of his 
parish, and by his personal worth won the esteem of all creeds. 
He was one of the founders of the Sons of St. George, 23 April, 
1 772, at Byrne's Tavern, Front Street below Walnut Street, the 
English Society that still exists and whose headquarters at Thir- 
teenth and Arch Streets were recently removed to Nineteenth and 
Arch Streets. A tribute to him is incorporated in the Caspipina 
Letters, p. 187. 5 

Philadelphia, 14 January, 1772. 

Speaking of Rome, reminds me of a visit I lately received from the 

Rector of a Roman Catholic Church in this city, in consequence of a letter 

I sent to him from Mr. Phillips, the author of the life of the Cardinal Pole, 

which has lately revived much of the old controversy in England. Mr. 

H g (for this is the name of the Rector), appears to be a decent, well 

bred gentleman; and I am told he is much esteemed by all denominations 
of Christians in this city for his prudence, his moderation, his known attach- 
ment to British liberty and his unaffected pious labours among the people, 

to whom he officiates. He corresponds with our friend, Abbe Gr 1, at 

Rome. He was so obliging as to invite my friend, the merchant and myself 
to spend an hour with him in his little Carthusian cell, as he called it. This 
small apartment adjoins an old Gothic chapel, and together with another 
opposite to it (which is occupied by an assistant German priest), forms a 
kind of porch, through which you enter the Chapel. Here the venerable man 
entertained us very agreeably, and as I was particularly inquisitive about the 
settlement and labors of his brethren, the Jesuits, at Paraguay, he put into 
my hands, at parting, a very circumstantial narrative of the rise and progress 
of these settlements written by one Muratori, which I have since read with 
much pleasure. 

5 These letters were written by the Rev. Jacob Duche, first Chaplain of 
Congress. The name signed to the Letters was "Tamoc Caspipina" which was 
made from the initials of his position, The Assistant Minister of Christ Church 
and St. Peter's In Philadelphia, In North America. Duche made the first prayer 
in Congress. "While the wretch was praying to Almighty God for the success 
of the Revolution his heart was black with treason." (Tuckerman's America, 
p. 8i, quoted by Sabin, in Dictionary of Books.) 

Duche wrote Washington urging him to abandon the patriot cause. He 
lived in a mansion on the ground running on the east side of Third St. from 
Pine to Union (now Delancey), and is buried in St. Peter's Episcopal Church 
graveyard on the opposite corner. 


In 1 771, when the Hon. Richard Penn, Esq., succeeded John 
Penn in the government of the Province, Father Harding presented 
the following address, in the name of the "Roman Catholicks of 
the City of Philadelphia": 

To the Honorable Richard Penn, Esq., Lieutenant-Governor and Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania. 
May it Please your Honour: The Roman Catholicks of this city beg 
leave to offer their sincere congratulations on your safe arrival to the govern- 
ment of this province. Truly sensible and grateful to your honourable family 
for the many privileges, religious and civil, we have hitherto enjoyed, we 
hope for a continuance of the same under your administration. 

Our actions and behaviour shall be the best proof of the sentiments we 
express on this occasion, and on them we rely for a share in your protection 
and regard. In the name and behalf of the congregation, 


To this His Excellency responded: 

GENTLEMEN: I am much obliged for these compliments of congratu- 
lation on my safe arrival and appointment to the Government of the province. 
The grateful sense which you express of the behavior of the proprietors 
toward you gives me great satisfaction; and you may depend upon the con- 
tinuance of the same religious and civil privileges under my administration 
as you have hitherto enjoyed, not in the least doubting that your conduct and 
actions will prove you deserving of my regard and protection. 6 

In the twenty-three years of his pastorate Father Harding had 
seen and suffered much, but he had lived to see rich fruit of his 
work spiritually, while in temporals the Church by his labors had 
prospered. He went to his reward 1 September, 1 772, and was 
buried at St. Mary's. No record nor memorial shows the location 
of his grave. The Pennsylvania Gazette of 2 September, 1 772, 
contained the following obituary notice: 

Early on the 1st instant, departed this life, in the 70th. year of his age, 
Rev. Robert Harding, twenty-three years pastor of the Roman Catholic 
congregation in this city, a gentleman who, in the integrity of his life and 
exemplary conversation, is greatly lamented. 

Pa. Gazette, 14 Nov. 1771. 


Father Molyneux. — The War of the Revolution. — 

First Catholic Parish School. 

!OR almost a year after the death of Father Hard- 
ing, the charge of the Church in Philadelphia 
was in the hands of Father Farmer, assisted by 
the Fathers of his Society at Bohemia Manor. 
A suitable successor, however, to the responsible 
position of pastor was found in the Rev. Robert 
Molyneux, who came to the city in June, 1 773, Father Farmer 
remaining as co-pastor and in charge of the German-speaking mem- 
bers of the congregation. On 5 May, 1 774, the Rev. John Lewis, 
Superior at Bohemia, who was named in Father Harding's will 
as heir to the church properties, and executor of the will, gave 
power of attorney to Father Molyneux to act as his agent in the 
management of the church property. 

The years of Father Molyneux's pastorate were filled with 
momentous events, and of these Philadelphia was the centre. On 
5 September, 1 774, the first American Congress convened at Phila- 
delphia, in Carpenter's Hall, at Third and Chestnut Streets, within 
two squares of Father Molyneux's house. This Congress had been 
proposed by Virginia, when the protests of the Colonies against the 
taxation imposed by England had received no consideration, unless 
it were the passing of other measures like the Boston Port Bill. 
England had determined that the Colonies must share the debt of 
£700,000,000 in which her four recent wars had involved her, 
and from 1 763 a series of measures imposing taxation had been 
resented by the Colonies. The Continental Congress was convened 
for the purpose of restoring harmony with Great Britain, but the 
coming together of the delegates from all the Colonies, except Geor- 
gia (which took part, however, in the succeeding Congresses), 
brought out the general discontent against England and the popular 


determination to resist by force, if necessary, the taxation that had 
been imposed without representation. Canada, which had become 
an English colony, had been notified to send delegates to the Con- 
gress, but was not represented. The sessions lasted until October, 
and as a result the members drafted an address to the King, to 
Canada, and to the Colonies, recommending non-importation and 
non-exportation measures. They decided to reconvene in May, 

From a Catholic standpoint the Continental Congress gives 
a curious instance of how the ruling idea remains prominent even 
in times of great excitement. Although it was apparent that a 
mighty crisis was imminent, the outcome of which would be destruc- 
tive defeat or glorious victory for the Colonies, the old dread and 
hatred of the Catholic Church could not be laid aside. Much joy 
had come to the Colonies when Canada passed over from the rule 
of Catholic France to that of England, but the joy was changed 
to horror at the passing of "The Quebec Act," which restored to 
the Church in Canada the liberty she enjoyed under the French 
rule and allowed the clergy the tithes, as under French laws. This 
diplomatic measure of England to secure the loyalty of Canada, 
appeared to some of the Colonial representatives as "establishing 
Popery" in Canada. Turning aside from the grave questions that 
were sundering all connexion with the mother country, the Congress 
declared that 

The act passed for establishing the Roman Catholic Religion in the 
Province of Quebec, abolishing the equitable system of English Laws, erected 
a tyranny there, to the great danger (from so total a dissimilarity of Religion, 
Laws, and Government) of the neighboring British Colonies. 

At another session, held 19 October, the Quebec Act was 
declared "to dispose the inhabitants to act with hostility against 
free Protestant Colonies, wherever a wicked ministry chose so to 
direct them." Nor was this all, again in the address framed to the 
English people the Congress expresses "astonishment that a British 
Parliament should ever consent to establish in Canada a religion 
which has deluged your island in blood, and dispersed impiety, 


bigotry, persecution, murder and rebellion throughout the world.'* 
Such sentiments as these are born of prejudice, bred in ignor- 
ance of the Catholic Church. How deep both may be in men who 
are otherwise good and intelligent, may be seen from the following 
incident: Under the date of 9 October, 1774, George Washing- 
ton, who was in attendance at the Continental Congress, as dele- 
gate from Virginia, wrote in his diary: "Went to the Presbyterian 
meeting in the forenoon and the Romish Church in the afternoon." 
He was accompanied by John Adams of Massachusetts, and the 
latter wrote that night to his wife: 

This afternoon, led by curiosity and good company, I strolled away 
to the mother Church, or rather grandmother Church, I mean the Romish 
chapel. I heard a good, short moral essay upon the duty of parents to their 
children, founded in justice and charity, to take care of their interests, tem- 
poral and spiritual. This afternoon's entertainment was to me most awful 
and affecting; the poor wretches fingering their beads, chanting Latin, not 
a word of which they understood; their Pater Nosters and Ave Marias; 
their holy water; their crossing themselves perpetually; their bowing to the 
name of Jesus whenever they heard it; their bowing and kneeling and genu- 
flecting before the altar. The dress of the priest was rich with lace. His 
pulpit was velvet and gold. The altar-piece was very rich, little images and 
crucifixes about, wax-candles lighted up. But how shall I describe the 
picture of our Saviour, in a frame of marble over the altar, at full length 
upon the cross in the agonies and the blood dripping and streaming from 
His wounds ! The music, consisting of an organ and a choir' of singers, went 
all the afternoon except sermon time, and the assembly chanted most sweetly 
and exquisitely. Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear, and 
imagination — everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. 
I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell. 1 

Under the same date Adams wrote in his diary : 

Went in the afternoon to the Romish chapel and heard a good discourse 
upon the duty of parents to their children founded in justice and charity. 
The scenery and music are so calculated to take in mankind that I wonder the 

*Page 45 of Familiar Letters of John Adams to his Wife, Abigail, during 
the Revolution. By Charles Francis Adams. New York: 1876. 


Reformation ever succeeded. The paintings, the bells, the candles, the gold 
and silver, our Saviour on the Cress over the altar, at full length, and all his 
wounds bleeding. The chanting is exquisitely soft and sweet. 2 

This account throws light on the character of Adams and his 
utter ignorance of things Catholic, and has preserved for us a 
striking picture of the devotion of the faithful, and the appearance 
of St. Mary's at that Vesper service. As Father Farmer's Register 
of Baptisms shows him to have been out of the city until 30 October, 
the celebrant in the "dress of rich lace" must have been Father 

No heed was paid by England to the action of the Continental 
Congress, and the feeling on each side of the ocean grew more 
bitter. In the Colonies men felt the truth of Joseph Hawley's 
words, to the delegation from Massachusetts: "We must fight if 
we cannot otherwise rid ourselves of British Taxation. Fight we 
must, finally, unless Britain retreats." 

Britain had no mind to retreat from her demands. At the 
close of 1 774 a royal proclamation prohibited the exportation from 
Great Britain of military stores. In January, 1 775, the King's 
Cabinet declared there was nothing in the proceedings of Congress 
that offered any basis of reconciliation, and it was therefore resolved 
to break off all commerce with the Americans, to protect the loyalists 
in the Colonies, and to declare all others to be traitors and rebels. 
On 19 April, 1 775, the Battle of Lexington was fought, and when 
the Continental Congress assembled in May of that year at Phila- 
delphia the war for Independence was on. 

In that tremendous, God-protected struggle of the infant Re- 
public Philadelphia was a storm-centre, but the city itself was by 
no means wholly in favor of the Colonists. There was a large class 
whose sympathies were with England. Of the Catholics, as a body, 
it cannot be said that they supported either side. Individuals fol- 
lowed their personal judgment in the matter, for the Catholic Church 
does not influence the political sentiment of her members. It is a 
matter of history that prominent on the side of the Colonies were 

Works, II, p. 395. 


Commodore John Barry, Thomas FitzSimons, Stephen Moylan, 
George Meade, Captain John Walsh, Captain Roger Kean, and 
Emmanuel Holmes, all members of St. Mary's. There were many 
others of lesser note, for England had done nothing at home or 
abroad to win the support of Catholics. On the other hand, the 
Colonies (with the exception of Pennsylvania) had not only not 
shown themselves favorable to the Church, but had actually perse- 
cuted it by putting in force the anti-Catholic laws of England. To 
determine, then, on which side to range themselves in the struggle 
the Catholics would necessarily be influenced by other than religious 
motives. Historians agree that, with some notable exceptions, the 
landed and moneyed class of Colonists supported England, while 
the proletariat, who had little or nothing to lose, were in favor of 
the Colonies, and, therefore, had it not been for the assistance of 
France, England would have been victorious. As a matter of fact, 
religion and religious prejudice seem to have been, in great part, 
in abeyance during these trying times. In spite of the recorded evi- 
dences of prejudice, when it was most desirable to secure Canada 
as an ally for the Colonies, and when Montgomery's expedition 
against the country had been unsuccessful, Congress requested Father 
John Carroll of Baltimore to go with his cousin, Charles Carroll 
of Carrollton, a Catholic, Benjamin Franklin, and Samuel Chase, 
the Commissioners, to secure a promise of neutrality from Canada. 
The mission was not successful, however, as Canada had an un- 
pleasant memory of her previous relations with the Colonies, and 
of their anti-Catholic feelings and utterances. In the events of the 
Revolution Catholics were concerned on both sides. 

The great strength of the Americans was in the support of 
Catholic France, to which, as the natural foe of England, the 
Colonists first turned for help in their time of need. The fear of 
all things Catholic that prevailed in the Colonies during the French- 
Indian war was overcome by the urgent need of the powerful assist- 
ance France could give. Although it was not until 6 February, 
1778, that Louis XVI acknowledged the independence of the 
United States and signed a treaty of alliance and commerce, long 
before that day valuable aid was rendered by Frenchmen in answer 


to the appeal of the American Commissioners, Silas Deane, Arthur 
Lee, and Benjamin Franklin. In May of 1 777 General Ducoudray 
with twenty-nine officers and twelve sergeants came to this country 
and joined Washington's Army. In the same year, on 31 July, 
the Marquis Lafayette offered his services to Congress and was ap- 
pointed Major-General and attached to the personal staff of Wash- 
ington. It may be remarked, in passing, that the appeals sent to 
the European courts brought no governmental response of aid, ex- 
cepting from Catholic France. Catholic Spain sent valuable stores 
and money, though it made no treaty of alliance. Individuals, how- 
ever, like Baron Steuben of Prussia and the Catholic Poles Kosciusko 
and Pulaski, offered their services and were appointed officers by 

Soul-absorbing indeed the history of the Revolutionary War 
must be to every American, in all its phases, and to every Catholic 
American especially. The Declaration of Independence formulated 
its well-known doctrine of liberty and secured to every inhabitant of 
the New World the right to worship God according to the dictates 
of his conscience. Victory after victory rewarded the Revolutionary 
troops until success finally crowned their arms, despite the fact that 
they were fighting against a powerful nation, and notwithstanding in- 
ternal dissensions, bitter jealousies, treachery in their own camp, and 
the severe hardships they suffered. But this narrative must con- 
fine itself to the account of Philadelphia and particularly to the 
role played by the Catholics of this city. While Philadelphia was 
the favored spot from which the Declaration of Independence went 
forth, and while that Declaration itself was framed in the just and 
liberal spirit of William Penn in his Province, there was not much 
zeal felt for the Revolution in the city. The effect of the Declara- 
tion of Independence on some of the Philadelphians may be judged 
from the following letter of "A Follower of Christ," in the Penn- 
sylvania Evening Post of 26 September, 1 776, apropos of the Penn- 
sylvania State Constitution. Unlike the Constitutions of some of 
the States, Pennsylvania's laid no restriction on any man's religion 
in regard to his holding office : 


If the Christian States in Europe learn the Pennsylvanians have made 
a new Constitution and frame of government for themselves, by a Convention, 
by which Jews, Turks and heathens may not only be freemen of that land, 
but are eligible for Assemblymen, Judges, Counsellors and President or Gov- 
ernor; and that this new Constitution mentions not a word of the Bible, 
Christ or the Christian religion, much the less Protestantism ; that an Episcopal 
Church, a Presbyterian meeting house, a Roman Catholic Church, a Mosque, 
a Synagogue or heathen temple have now in Pennsylvania all equal privileges ; 
will any Christian power call this State, for the future, a Christian State? 
Will it not be an asylum for all fugitive Jesuits and outcasts of Europe? 

The Quakers of Philadelphia who were wealthy and influ- 
ential were disaffected or neutral. The Episcopalians were, almost to 
a man, supporters of England; while the Presbyterians were almost 
unanimously in favor of the Revolution. It is inconceivable that 
the Irish would let such an opportunity of taking up arms against 
England pass by, and therefore it is to be presumed that there were 
many Irish Catholics in the ranks of the Continental Army, even 
though it meant soldiering with their ancient foes the Presbyterians. 
As a matter of fact, on St. Patrick's Day, 1778, an altercation 
occurred in the Camp at Valley Forge through the opprobrius words 
and acts of the non-Catholics, which excited the ire of the Irish 
Catholics of the Army. 

The sentiments of Philadelphia in regard to the War may be 
judged pretty accurately from the reception accorded General Howe 
and his officers when the British Army entered Philadelphia, 27 
September, 1 777. While Washington and his Army at Valley 
Forge, in the winter of 1 777-8, suffered intensely from cold and 
hunger, the British officers and men were feted and entertained by 
the elite of Philadelphia, the long series of brilliant entertainments 
ending with the Mischianza festival, 1 8 May, 1 778, at the Wharton 
Mansion, Fifth and Federal Streets. This was the grand fete in 
imitation of medieval splendor, given in honor of Howe, who was 
about to leave for England, after having been succeeded in com- 
mand of the English Army by Sir Henry Clinton. 

When the British withdrew from Philadelphia, 1 8 June, 1 778, 
about 3000 inhabitants went with them. In the ranks of the English 
army was one of the three "Regiments" that Howe had authorized 


to be recruited in Philadelphia. In the evacuation orders it is called 
"The Roman Catholic Battalion," for it was then composed of 
only 180 men, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred 
Clifton, a member of St. Mary's parish. The English offered a big 
bounty to recruits for these regiments, and secured some of the half- 
clothed, starved and frozen deserters from Washington's camp. 
When the trials and privation of food and money came to the 
Continental army many whose attachment was not patriotic deserted. 
The testimony of James Galloway of Pennsylvania, before a Com- 
mittee of Parliament in 1 779 on this matter, declares that deserters 
came to the city to the number of 2300, at the rate of ten and fifteen 
a day, and that about one-fourth were natives and another fourth 
English and Scotch, and about one-half Irish. 

They were in a manner naked; they were not clothed for the inclemency 
of the season. Some of them had linen garments on and these were very 
ragged and torn, some without shoes, very few with whole breeches or stock- 
ings, in short they were objects of distress when they came down to me to be 
examined. 3 

The men whose hearts were in the cause withstood the dreadful 
trials, while the adventurers, such as fasten to all causes, fled away. 
To these, enlistment on either side meant nothing but pay, food, and 
clothing, and therefore neither their religion nor nationality should 
be held answerable for their unprincipled conduct. To form a 
"Roman Catholic Battalion" under the command of a Roman Cath- 
olic Colonel and to invite a Roman Catholic priest to act as chaplain 4 
was merely a diplomatic move on the part of England to secure 
Roman Catholic sympathy, and as an offset to the Roman Catholic 
sentiment that had been manifested by the attendance of Congress 

8 Examinations of James Galloway, pp. 29-30. 

* Father Farmer wrote to a priest in London, 2 March, 1778: 
"Perhaps it will please you to hear that your British General, when 
arriving here, upon my waiting on him, proposed the raising of a regiment of 
Roman Catholic Volunteers. Mr. Clifton, an English gentleman, of an Irish 
mother, is the Lieutenant Colonel and Commander of it, they desire me to be 
the chaplain, which embarasseth me, on account of my age and several other 


at the Requiem services in St. Mary's over the body of General 
Ducoudray, who had been drowned while crossing the Schuylkill 
at Market Street, 24 September, 1 777. 

On 6 August, 1 778, M. Gerard, the Minister from France, 
was received by Congress, and thus diplomatic relations were estab- 
lished with France, which had on 6 February, 1 778, acknowledged 
the Independence of the Colonies and agreed to give them aid as 
ally in the war with England. The presence of the French Minister 
no doubt changed the complexion of affairs in Philadelphia, and 
brought substantial moral support to the cause of Independence, 
though doubtless many were lost to the cause by this alliance with 
a "Popish nation." As representative of a great nation Gerard 
took his place in the social life of the city. In July following his 
coming, 1 779, M. Gerard arranged for a celebration of the Declara- 
tion of Independence on 4 July, at St. Mary's Church. To the 
fashionable world the following invitation was sent : 

You are requested, on behalf of the Minister Plenipotentiary of France, 
to assist at the Te Deum, which will be sung on Sunday, 4th of this month 
at noon, in the new Catholic chapel, to commemorate the anniversary of the 
Independence of the United States of America. 

Philadelphia, 2 July, 1 779. 

The celebration was a success, as reported in the Pennsylvania 
Packet of 10 July, 1779. 

At noon the President and members of Congress, with the President 
and chief magistrates of this State, and a number of other gentlemen and their 
ladies, went, by invitation from the honorable the Minister of France, to the 
Catholic Chapel, where the great event was celebrated by a well adapted 
discourse, pronounced by the Minister's chaplain, and a Te Deum solemnly 
sung by a number of very good voices, accompanied by the organ and other 
kinds of music. 

The address was delivered by Abbe Seraphin Bandol, the 
chaplain to the French Minister, and The United States Magazine, 
1 779, gave the following report: 

The address of the Chaplain of his Excellency, the Minister of France, 
on Sunday, the Fourth of July, the anniversary of our independence, at the 
new Catholic chapel, just before the Te Deum, was performed on the occa- 


sion, when were present, agreeably to the invitation of the Minister, His 
Excellency, the President of Congress, the Honorable Congress, His Excel- 
lency, the President of the State, the honorable Council, officers, civil and 
military, and a number of the principal gentlemen and ladies of the city. 

GENTLEMEN: We are assembled to celebrate the anniversary of that 
day which Providence had marked in His eternal decrees, to become the epoch 
of liberty and independence to the thirteen United States of America. 

That Being, whose almighty hand holds all existence beneath its do- 
minion, undoubtedly produces in the depths of His wisdom those great events 
which astonish the universe and of which the most presumptuous, though 
instrumental in accomplishing them, dare not attribute to themselves the merit. 
But the finger of God is still more peculiarly evident in that happy, that 
glorious revolution which calls for this day's festivity. He hath struck the 
oppressors of a free people — free and peaceful — with the spirit of delusion 
which renders the wicked artificers of their own proper misfortunes. Permit 
me, my dear brethren, citizens of the United States, to address you on this 
occasion. It is that God, that all powerful God, who hath directed your 
steps ; when you were without arms fought for you the sword of Justice ; who, 
when you were in adversity, poured into your heart the spirit of courage, of 
wisdom and fortitude, and who hath, at length raised up for your support a 
youthful sovereign whose virtues bless and adorn a sensible, a fruitful and a 
generous nation. 

This nation has blended her interests with your interest and her senti- 
ments with yours. She participates in all your joys, and this day unites her 
voice to yours at the foot of the altars of the eternal God to celebrate that 
glorious revolution which has placed the sons of America among the free and 
independent nations of the earth. 

We have nothing to apprehend but the anger of heaven, or that the 
measure of our guilt should exceed His mercy. Let us then prostrate our- 
selves at the feet of the immortal God, who holds the fate of Empires in His 
hands, and raises them up at His pleasure, or breaks them down to dust. 
Let us conjure Him to enlighten our enemies and to dispose their hearts to 
enjoy that tranquility and happiness which the Revolution we now celebrate 
has established for a great part of the human race. Let us implore Him to 
conduct us by that way which His Providence has marked out for arriving at 
so desirable an end. Let us offer unto Him hearts imbued with sentiments of 
respect, consecrated by religion, humanity and patriotism. Never is the august 
ministry of His altars more acceptable to His Divine Majesty than when it 
lays at His' feet homages, offerings and vows, so pure, so worthy the common 
offerings of mankind. 

God will not reject our joy, for He is the author of it; nor will He 
forget our prayers, for they ask but the fulfillment of the decrees He has 


manifested. Filled with this spirit, let us, in concert with each other, raise our 
hearts to the Eternal ; let us implore His infinite mercy to be pleased to inspire 
the rulers of both nations with wisdom and force necessary to perfect what 
He hath begun. Let us, in a word, unite our voices to beseech Him to 
dispense His blessings upon the counsels and the arms of the allies, and that 
we may soon enjoy the sweets of a peace which will soon cement the Union 
and establish the prosperity of the two nations. 

It is with this view that we shall cause that canticle to be performed, 
which the custom of the Catholic Church hath consecrated to be at once a 
testimonial of public joy, a thanksgiving for benefits received from heaven, and 
a prayer for the continuance of its mercies. 

In Gerard's account to his government, he says: 

It is the first ceremony of the kind in the thirteen States, and it is thought 
that the eclat of it will have a beneficial influence on the Catholics, many of 
whom are suspected of not being much attached to the American cause. 
My chaplain delivered a short address which has obtained general approba- 
tion, and which Congress has demanded for publication. 5 

After the attendance of the prominent patriots at this service it 
was accepted by the Loyalists as proof of the Divine vengeance 
upon the cause of Independence that the French fleet under D'Es- 
taing, owing to a storm, failed to come up the Delaware, but set 
sail for Newport. In Rivington's New York Loyal Gazette of 6 
November, and its supplement of 24 November, 1 779, and in 
Loyal Verses, a poem, entitled "The Congratulation," by Dr. 
Jonathan Odell, may be found. He, and others like him, were 
jubilant at the disaster. One verse referring to the Mass on 4 July 
represents one patriot speaking to another: 

Oh brother, things are at a dreadful pass, 
Brother, we sinned in going to the Mass: 

The Lord, who taught our fingers how to fight, 
For this denied to curb the tempest's might. 

The opinion of the bigots had little effect on the patriots, how- 
ever, Tor on Monday, 8 May, 1 780, the officials of the government 
and a large congregation assembled at the invitation of Chevalier 
De La Luzerne, who had on 1 7 November, 1 779, succeeded Gerard 

8 Durand's Doc. of Rev., p. 189. 


as Minister for France, to attend a Requiem Mass. This Requiem 
was for Don Juan de Miralles, "a Spanish gentleman of distinc- 
tion/ ' who was known as the Spanish Agent. While not officially 
appointed to represent Spain directly, he attended to the Spanish 
interests and was kindly and graciously treated by the American 
military and civil officers. He came to this city early in 1 778, and 
lived at Mr. Chew's on Fourth Street opposite Prune Street, but 
later removed to Mt. Pleasant (now "The Dairy" in Fairmount 
Park) . Here he remained until the place was bought by Benedict 
Arnold as a marriage-gift for his bride, Miss Peggy Shippen. 

In April of 1 780 Miralles, while at Washington's Camp, Mor- 
ristown, N. J., with M. Luzerne, was taken sick and died there, 
28 April, and was there buried. One of the invitations to attend 
the Requiem Mass was sent to Dr. Benjamin Rush and is pre- 
served at the Ridgway Library, endorsed in Dr. Rush's writing: 
"Received 6 May, 1 780, but declined attending as not compatible 
with the principles of a Protestant." 

The account of the Requiem service as given by the Royal 
Gazette of New York is interesting : 

On Monday, the 8th instant, was celebrated at Philadelphia, the funeral 
of the Spanish Resident, who lately died at Morristown. The following was 
the order of the procession: The Bier, covered with a black cloth, Mons. Lu- 
cerne, the French resident, the Congress, the General Officers, the Citizens. 

When the procession arrived at the Roman Catholic Chapel, the Priest 
presented the Holy Water to Mons. Lucerne, who, after sprinkling himself 
presented it to Mr. Huntington, the President of the Congress. The Calvinist 
paused a considerable time, near a minute; but at length his affection for the 
great and good ally conquered all scruples of conscience, and he too be- 
sprinkled and sanctified himself with all the adroitness of a veteran Catholic, 
which his brethren of the Congress perceiving they all, without hesitation, 
followed the righteous example of their proselytized President. Before the 
company, which was extremely numerous, left the Chapel curiosity induced 
some persons to uncover the Bier, when they were highly enraged at finding 
the whole a sham, there being no corpse under the cloth, the body of the 
Spanish gentleman having been interred at Morristown. The Bier was sur- 
rounded with wax candles, and every member of this egregious Congress, 
now reconciled to the Popish Communion, carried a taper in his hand. 


The use of a cenotaph at a memorial service was evidently 
beyond their limited knowledge of Catholic ritual ! 

In that assemblage was Benedict Arnold, the trusted officer 
and gay gentleman of Philadelphia society, but waiting an oppor- 
tunity to externate the treason that was in his heart. That oppor- 
tunity came with the command of West Point, to which he was 
assigned 3 August, 1 780. In an address to the officers and soldiers 
of the Continental Army, 2 October, 1 780, the traitor says : 

Do you know that the eye which guides this pen, lately saw your mean 
and profligate Congress at Mass for the soul of a Roman Catholic in Pur- 
gatory, and participating in the rites of a church against whose anti-christian 
corruptions our pious ancestors would have witnessed with their blood. 

The American army received strong reinforcement in the body 
of 6000 men, under Count de Rochambeau, sent by France. They 
arrived at Newport, R. I., 10 July, 1780. In September, 1781, 
this army passed through Philadelphia on the way to Yorktown, 
and there with Washington's army, 19 October, 1781, received 
the surrender of General Cornwallis and the main body of the 
British army. This surrender practically ended the war and secured 
victory to the United States, though for almost two years the army 
remained assembled and the last of the English did not withdraw 
from Long Island until 4 December, 1 783. 

The news of Yorktown caused unusual rejoicing in the States, 
and on Sunday, 4 November, a Mass of Thanksgiving was sung 
at St. Mary's Church, to give public thanks to God for the victory 
of the combined American and French armies at Yorktown. M. 
Luzerne, the French Ambassador, arranged the celebration, and 
his chaplain, Abbe Bandol, preached the sermon. The members 
of Congress, the Supreme Executive Council, and the Assembly of 
Pennsylvania were invited to attend, and though Washington, Lafa- 
yette, Rochambeau, and DeGrasse were not present, as they were 
far from the city on that day, the service was attended by a large 

A day of public thanksgiving and prayer was proclaimed and 
observed throughout the county, 13 December, 1781. Peace 


negotiations were begun, and the crowned heads of Europe hastened 
to acknowledge the independence of the United States, and receive 
the Infant Republic into the Congress of Nations. 

Whatever the private opinion of individual Catholics may have 
been in regard to the war, there could be but one mind when peace 
was proclaimed by the treaty of 3 September, 1 783, and the Dec- 
laration of Independence was a fact, "proclaiming liberty through- 
out the land and to all the inhabitants thereof." This meant a free 
Church in a free State, and the spirit of broad tolerance and brotherly 
love of William Penn's Province was spread throughout the land. 
Whatever remained of the old anti-Catholic spirit, and it did remain, 
even in Philadelphia, mattered nothing to the success of the Catholic 
Church, secure under the broad aegis of American liberty. 

In the assurance of peace that came with Cornwallis's surrender, 
the Managers of St. Mary's Church began the work of improving 
and ornamenting the edifice and enclosing the burial-ground. A 
subscription of £ 1 204 1 7s. 2d. was secured for this purpose. The 
largest of the ninety contributions were from James Oellers, who 
gave £75, and John Swan wick, who contributed £50, although 
he was not a Catholic. Galleries were built in the church and new 
pews added to the church proper. This work was done by James 
Cockrin for £990 13s. Id., of which sum £830 6s. were paid to 
him; and for painting and glazing Joseph Wirt received £3. Re- 
pairs were also made to the old chapel "back of Walnut Street" 
and to the parochial residence. 

Having thus improved the church, Father Molyneux set about 
providing a Parish School where the young generation might be 
instructed in their religion and receive a secular education as well. 
North-east of Old St. Joseph's and connected with the Quaker 
Almshouse stood the school erected by the Quakers, of which Chris- 
topher Marshall wrote to Thomas Paine in 1 774 : "This you may 
depend upon, now that they [the Quakers] have already built a 
large and spacious school house, at the back of their Almshouse, on 
Walnut St. and endowed it with a revenue sufficient to support it 
and pay a master a handsome salary." The outcome of the War, 
no doubt, destroyed or lessened materially the endowment of the 


school, and it had to be sold. On 17 February, 1781, the house 
and ground were bought from Samuel Meredith for £400, by the 
Managers of St. Mary's, the Rev. Robert Molyneux, Patrick 
Byrne, James Gallagher, and John Rudolph, who declared the 
property "held as the property of the Religious Society of People 
called Roman Catholics, for their use and benefit and for no other 
purpose or interest." 

The building was put in repair by James Cockrin and Joseph 
Wirt at a cost of £140 15s. 6%d., and was ready for its new 
purpose in May, 1 782. This was the first Catholic parish school 
in Philadelphia. The Managers agreed to give the children pre- 
miums in value of 20 shillings quarterly for improvement in studies. 
The schoolmasters were required to pay £ 1 2 rent for their school- 
rooms, and each schoolmaster to instruct six poor scholars and be 
paid for as many as he instructed over that number. A subscrip- 
tion list was opened to pay for the property : "Subscriptions toward 
paying for the Old School House and lot, purchased for £400 
in 1781"; and £180 3s. was received, of which the Estate of 
James White gave £30, James Oellers £15, and Father Moly- 
neux £7 12s. 

The important business side of this now well-established and 
prosperous parish required careful management, and on 2 Septem- 
ber, 1782, the congregation met and agreed upon "Articles for 
conducting in future the Affairs of the Catholic Church called St. 
Mary's, together with the affairs of the Catholic School." At a 
meeting two days later, the eighty-one pews of the two aisles in 
the body of the church and fifty-seven gallery pews were assigned 
to holders, and thus a permanent income was insured for the church. 
A pew of double length in the gallery was known as the "Publick 
Pew," and was reserved for the use of strangers. An account of 
contributions received for the school in 1 783 shows £65 15 s. con- 
tributed by thirteen persons. It was therefore arranged that in 
addition to special donations, contributions would be taken in the 
church semi-annually, from which about £ 1 000 were received. In 
September of 1 783 the church was in debt, after all improvements, 
to the sum of £580, and of this £300 was a loan from Joseph 


Wirt, the painter ; £, 1 00 a loan from Joseph Eck for repairing the 
old chapel, and £180 balance due S. Meredith on purchase of 
old school-house and lot. 

How quickly 6 the congregation had increased is learned from 
Father Molyneux's report to the Rev. John Carroll in December, 

The number of Communicants at Easter generally amounts to 1000, 
in the country congregations near 200. But in Philadelphia of non-communi- 
cants, I think I can set down 1000 more — children under 12 years excepted. 

General George Washington made his famous Farewell Ad- 
dress to the army at Princeton, N. J., 2 November, 1 783, and after 
bidding adieu to his officers in New York City, 4 December, began 
his journey to Annapolis to tender to Congress his resignation as 
Commander-in-Chief, and retire to Mt. Vernon. He arrived in 
Philadelphia Monday, 8 December, and The Pennsylvania Gazette 
of 10 December, 1783, gave the following account: 

His Excellency was met at Frankford by the President of the State, 
the Hon. Financier, Generals St. Clair and Hand, the Philadelphia Troop 
of Horse, and a number of citizens who had the pleasure of accompanying 
him into the city. His arrival was announced by a discharge of cannon, the 
bells were rung and the people testified their satisfaction at once more seeing 
their illustrious chief, by repeated acclamations. 

During the week in which he remained here Washington was 
presented with addresses by the General Assembly, the Merchants 
of Philadelphia, the City Council, the Militia Officers, the Trustees 
and Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Clergy, 
Gentlemen of the Law, and Physicians of the City of Philadelphia. 
This last address was presented on Saturday, 13 December, by 
Father Farmer and the other signers, representing the professional 

'On 4 September, 1781, the French army under Rochambeau, marched 
through Philadelphia on its way to Virginia. Abbe Robin, one of the chaplains, 
in his Travels records that in Philadelphia were two Roman Catholic chapels 
provided with an Irish ex-Jesuit (Molyneux) and a German priest (Farmer), 
and that the Catholics numbered about eleven or twelve hundred. 


men of the city, and was published in the Pennsylvania Gazette of 
1 7 December, as follows : 

SlR: We beg leave to congratulate Your Excellency in the happy con- 
clusion of the War. At length the hazardous conflict is over. . . . The 
blessings of peace and independence are ours . . . and we approach 
your Excellency, as you return from the field, with the mingled emotions of 
joy, gratitude and affection. Let others, Sir, recount your military achieve- 
ments, and draw the honorable comparison between them and the deeds of 
those other heroes whose names adorn the records of time. It is ours to view 
you in another light and to see your character surrounded with a glorious 
splendor, before which the Star of a Caesar or an Alexander must hide its 
diminished head. The mad ambition of unlimited conquest was not your in- 
centive to action — your aim was not to exalt yourself upon the ruins of your 
fellow citizens. It was the voice of your country that called — it was the genius 
of freedom that led you into the field. In defence of liberty, property and the 
rights of mankind, your sword was drawn. It was consecrated by Religion, 
by Law and by Humanity ; it was revered as their guardian. The purest prin- 
ciples directed the management of the war. Undissembled piety, without the 
fear of offending Heaven, could implore its assistance to your arms. 

Virtue, philosophy and the sciences considered their cause as involved 
in that which you so illustriously supported. Heaven has smiled upon the 
glorious struggle. Our freedom is established ... the sciences flour- 
ish . . and the gates of happiness are thrown open to mankind. 

The scene of military glory is now closed, and you leave the field amid 
the grateful acclamations of a happy people. May the example you have 
set . may the instructions you have given never be forgotten. May 

all the blessings of peace and domestic life crown your retirement Long — 
very long may you enjoy them. Your country has still a deep interest in you. 
No retreat can prevent your continuing the distinguished object of the affec- 
tion, esteem and confidence of her friends. The learned professions, in par- 
ticular, will ever consider you as their Patron and protector, and gratefully 
honor him, who, under the blessings of God, hath enabled science once more 
to lift up her head. 

Signed, in behalf of the Clergy, Gentlemen of the Law, and Physicians 
of the City of Philadelphia. 

Ferdinand Farmer, James Wilson, 

William White, Thomas Bond, 

John Ewing, William Shippen, Junr. 

Francis Hopkinson, James Hutchinson. 

William Bradford, Junr. 


The Condition of the Church After the Revolution. — 

Confirmation in Philadelphia. 

HE establishment of the United States as a Nation 
brought about new conditions in the government 
of the Church in the New World. Catholics in 
the English colonies had been under the juris- 
diction of the Vicar Apostolic of London, but 
during the war all direct intercourse was, of 
course, suspended and communication rendered impossible. In 1 779 
the priests in Philadelphia were obliged to procure the Holy Oils 
necessary in the administration of the Sacraments from the Bishop 
of Santiago de Cuba, through the offices of the Spanish Agent, 
Don Juan de Miralles. When the bonds that held the Colonies 
to the mother country were broken, and their national independence 
assured, the strained political relations that ensued made it im- 
practicable that the Catholic Church in the United States should 
be governed by the Ordinary of London. The situation of the 
clergy was made more complicated from the fact that the mis- 
sionaries of the East, including Philadelphia, were all members 
of the Society of Jesus, which had been suppressed by Clement 
XIV in 1 773. During the time of war, the little band of priests 
had agreed to labor together and wait in patience the rehabilita- 
tion of their Society under the direction of the Rev. John Lewis 
of Maryland, who had been appointed Vicar General by Bishop 
Challoner before the Revolution. In 1781 the Right Rev. James 
Talbot succeeded Bishop Challoner as Vicar Apostolic of London, 
but "whether he would hold no correspondence with a country 
which he perhaps considered as in a state of rebellion, or whether 
a natural indolence and irresolution restrained him, the fact is that 
he held no kind of intercourse with priest or layman in this part 
of his charge." 1 

1 Dr. Carroll's Sketch of Catholicity in the United States. 


The Rev. John Lewis, as Vicar General, governed the mis- 
sions during Bishop Talbot's silence, but he had no episcopal 
powers. When the Catholic Church was made free and, under 
the Declaration of Independence, relieved from all obnoxious laws, 
the situation demanded the appointment of a Bishop in America, 
or at least a superior with episcopal faculties. In 1 783 Bishop 
Talbot refused to grant faculties to the Revs. John Boone and 
Henry Pile, two Maryland priests who had been unable to return 
to their native land during the war, and declared he would exercise 
no jurisdiction in the United States. Their appeal to the Propa- 
ganda brought the condition of affairs in the United States to the 
attention of the head of the Church. Bishop Talbot's action and 
declaration made some formal act necessary, on the part of the 
priests in America, to preserve organization, safeguard the church 
properties held in the hands of individuals, and maintain discipline. 
Accordingly a formal meeting was held at Whitemarsh, Maryland, 
9 November, 1 783, and was attended by representatives of the 
Northern District which included Pennsylvania, and of the Middle 
and Southern Districts. The outcome of the meeting was a peti- 
tion to the Pope asking that the Rev. John Lewis be formally 
appointed Superior and "invested with the power to administer 
Confirmation, bless chalices, and impart faculties to priests on the 
missions." This petition was forwarded through Cardinal Bor- 
romeo, and was followed by a second, similar in import, but speci- 
fying the faculties desired by the clergy, and explaining the ad- 
visability of appointing a superior with episcopal power, rather than 
a bishop, as there would be opposition from non-Catholics to the pres- 
ence of a bishop in the United States. This same spirit among the 
Dissenters had prevented the Episcopalians from having a bishop 
of their church in colonial times, and in consequence, as set forth 
in 1 773 by Father Farmer, Bishop Briand of Quebec did not come 
to the Colonies to administer Confirmation, although he had been 
granted faculties for that purpose in 1 771 by Clement XIV. 

The exigencies of the Church seemed to the French Ambas- 
sador, at Philadelphia, an opportunity to further the interests of 
France and secure closer relations with the United States, and he 


accordingly concocted a scheme whereby the United States might 
be placed under the jurisdiction of a French bishop, the matter to 
be arranged by the King of France and Congress. Without the 
knowledge of the Catholics of America, the Papal Nuncio at 
Paris was addressed to obtain his furtherance of the project. He 
sent the note to Benjamin Franklin, Minister to France, with a 
request that he submit it to Congress. Specious use was made of 
the fact that the Church in America had been under English rule, 
and the advantages of having a French bishop appointed were set 
forth. As Franklin was ignorant of the real purpose, he applied 
to the Prime Minister of France in favor of the scheme, and trans- 
mitted the documents to Congress, but "The Secret Journals of the 
Acts, and Proceedings, of Congress" set forth the following dignified 
answer to Franklin's request : 

May 1 1, 1784, Resolved: That Dr. Franklin be desired to notify the 
Apostolic Nuncio at Versailles, that Congress will always be pleased to 
testify their respect to his Sovereign and State; but that the subject of his 
application to Doctor Franklin, being purely spiritual, it is without the 
jurisdiction and powers of Congress, who have no authority to permit or refuse 
it, those powers being reserved to the several States individually. 

No sooner, however, did Franklin learn of the importance of 
his action and its implied, though unintended, reflection on his old 
friend, Dr. Carroll, and his associates, than he set about to undo 
his part therein and to exert all his influence in having Dr. Carroll 
appointed as Superior. The decree organizing the Catholic Church 
in the United States as a distinct body and appointing Very Rev. 
John Carroll to be Prefect Apostolic was issued 9 June, 1 784, by 
Cardinal Antonelli, Prefect of the Propaganda, having been rati- 
fied by Pope Pius VI and granting power to administer Confirma- 
tion. The decree was sent through the Apostolic Nuncio at Paris 
and reached Dr. Carroll 26 November, 1 784. With the decree 
came a letter from Cardinal Antonelli in which was stated the 
intention of His Holiness to establish, at a near date, a Vicar 
Apostolic in the United States with the title and character of bishop. 

Dr. Carroll, having made his visitation in Maryland and ad- 
ministered Confirmation, on 22 September, 1 785, started on a 


journey through Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, and 
arrived in Philadelphia early in October, where he administered 
Confirmation at St. Mary's, Sunday, 2 October, 1 785, or, possibly, 
the following Sunday, 9 October. This was the first Confirmation 
administered in Philadelphia. While in the city, Dr. Carroll met 
his cousin, Charles Henry Wharton, at the house of Thomas Fitz- 
Simons, for the purpose of securing his signature to papers convey- 
ing to Wharton's brother an estate in Maryland. Wharton, who 
was a native of Maryland, had been a member of the Society of 
Jesus and had charge of a congregation in Worcester, England. 
He returned to America in 1 793, after resigning his charge. The 
year following he arrived in Philadelphia, and "was converted to 
the Protestant faith by a beautiful lady whom he afterwards mar- 
ried," and affiliated himself with a Protestant congregation. He 
published "A letter to the Roman Catholics of Worcester from the 
late Chaplain of that Society, stating the motives which induced 
him to relinquish their Communion and become a member of the 
Protestant Church." The motives shown were attacks on the Doc- 
trines of Transubstantiation and Infallibility; but more light is 
thrown on the unfortunate man's defection from his priestly and 
baptismal vows, by his admission that for some time he had con- 
sidered "the law of celibacy as a cruel usurpation of the inalienable 
rights of nature." Dr. Carroll in "An Address to the Roman 
Catholics of the United States of America, by a Catholic Clergy- 
man," gave a masterly defence of the Church's doctrines and a 
convincing refutation of Wharton's arguments. 

The Church in Philadelphia suffered an irreparable loss in 
1786 by the death of Father Farmer. The excessive labors of a 
long-continued service as a missionary at length affected the health 
of this devoted Jesuit; but that unconquerable spirit and determina- 
tion to suffer in doing the divine work to which God had called him, 
would not allow of the much-needed repose. Important spiritual 
interests had been committed to his care, and the various functions 
of his sacred office must be performed. According to his usual 
custom of visiting New York once a month, he set out for that city 
10 April, 1785. 


On 23 April, Father Molyneux wrote to Fr. John Carroll : 

Mr. Farmer is now absent two weeks on his tour to the Iron Works and 
New York; it will be two more before he returns. He was very weak when 
he left here; if he lives to return I wish some means would be devised to 
prevent him from going any more. He is no more fit to take that journey than 
I am to fast forty days and nights like St. Stylitis, without eating and drinking. 

On 7 May, Father Farmer returned and on the 1 6th he wrote 
to Father Carroll : 

Such is my weakness of late that the exercise and application, both of 
mind and body, must be short and interrupted. 

He continued, however, to perform his duties in Philadelphia 
until about two weeks before his death, which took place 1 7 Au- 
gust, 1 786. His funeral was held in St. Mary's Church on the 
following day and was attended by all the Protestant clergy, the 
members of the American Philosophical Society, of which he was 
a member, the Professors and Trustees of the University of Penn- 
sylvania, and a very large number of the non-Catholics of the city. 
After the services his body was taken back to St. Joseph's and buried 
in the old churchyard and in recent years was removed with others 
to a tomb under the altar in the basement of the church. The 
Pennsylvania Gazette of 23 August, 1 786, said of Father Farmer: 
"This worthy gentleman for a long series of years performed the 
duties of a Romish clergyman, with much dignity and reputation." 

The passing of this saintly missionary, described by Father 
Carroll as "the model of pastors and all priests," left Father Moly- 
neux alone in charge of Philadelphia. The Abbe Bandol, who 
had from time to time officiated in the parish, had removed to New 
York with the French Embassy. In his stead the Rev. Huit de la 
Valienire attended the French residents on his visits to Philadel- 
phia, while a like service was rendered the Spanish residents by the 
Rev. T. Hassett. A Dominican Father, William O'Brien, was at 
that time temporarily a resident of Philadelphia. Aided in part 
by these, Father Molyneux eagerly awaited the coming of an as- 
sistant who finally arrived at the end of 1 786, in the person of an 


English priest, the Rev. Francis Beeston, whose first baptismal 
record is dated 4 January, 1787. This young priest came to 
Father Carroll with the highest recommendations, including a letter 
from Lady Mary Arundell in which she calls him "one of my 
own 'eleves.' ' The Germans, however, were without a priest of 
their own nationality until 1 5 April, 1 787, when the Rev John B. 
Cause arrived; but he remained only until 2 December, 1787, 
going then to Lancaster. 

Some time before his death Father Farmer had written to the 
Rev. Laurence Graessl, a young German priest born at Rumans- 
felden, Bavaria, 18 August, 1753, and then living in Munich, who 
had been in a Jesuit Novitiate at the dissolution of the Society in 
1 773. The soul of the young man was fired by Father Farmer's 
words of appeal, and he readily agreed to relinquish home and the 
future that awaited him there, to devote his life and talents to the 
service of God in America. He wrote to his parents from London, 
3 August, I 787: "The joy of seeing you again in 1 this world I shall 
perhaps never have again, since God wants me to be in the New 
World where thousands and thousands of our brethren wander 
about without any spiritual shepherd. These I intend to gather in 
His fold; and should I have to give my life for them, so much the 
better for me. I go to Philadelphia, the largest city in America. 
Pray for me that I may land safely in America. I resign myself 
entirely to the holy will of God." 

Father Graessl arrived in Philadelphia in October of 1 787 ; 
but Father Farmer had then gone to his reward. 

On 1 4 October, 1 787, there arrived in Philadelphia from 
Rotterdam two brothers, members of the Capuchin Order, John 
Charles and Peter Heilbron. These Fathers, with several others, 
had been moved to come to America by a letter sent by Paul 
Millar of Conewago, which was published in the Mainzer Monat- 
schrift von Geistlieben Sachen, in 1 785. This letter contained an 
account of Pennsylvania, concluding with a fervent appeal for 
missionaries in these words, "Oh that the good God would be 
merciful and send us energetic spiritual advisers. What grand 
harvests could they make here!" The result of this was the coming 


of volunteers, to the embarrassment of Father Carroll the superior, 
who naturally made his own arrangements for the immigration of 
needed priests. The brothers Heilbron exercised their priestly func- 
tions on their arrival in Philadelphia, while waiting permanent ap- 
pointments. On 4 November, 1 787, the Rev. John Charles admin- 
istered a baptism at St. Mary's. Father Peter Heilbron was soon 
appointed to Goshenhoppen, Berks County, where he arrived 12 
November, and the next day made his first baptismal record. The 
very excellent accomplishments of these brothers excited the desire 
of the Germans to have one of them stationed permanently in Phila- 
delphia, and for this purpose some of the congregation petitioned 
Father Carroll for Father John Charles, who is reported to have 
been an eloquent preacher. This request Father Carroll was obliged 
to refuse, and the Rev. Laurence Graessl was appointed to the 
position. In acting thus, Father Carroll, the superior, explained 
that he 

was induced by several considerations: 1st. Mr. Graessl, in consequence of 
Mr. Farmer's invitation quitted his employment and prospects in Bavaria 
bringing with him the original letter of invitation and in full expectation of 
remaining at Philadelphia; secondly, His education having been the same as 
those who were to be his companions at Philadelphia, and they having ex- 
pressed their wish for his appointment, the superior thought so much was due 
to their service and enjoyment, not to refuse their request; thirdly, he thought 
likewise 1 it was a just way of rewarding the members of the body, who, under 
God, had brought Religion to its present state in Philadelphia. 

It is difficult to say whether Father John Charles Heilbron 
took any part in the efforts to have himself appointed to Philadel- 
phia, as there is no record extant of his movements until 25 Feb- 
ruary, 1 789, when he was doing duty at St. Mary's, Lancaster. It 
is probable that to avoid any troubles that might arise from the 
disappointment of his friends, he quietly withdrew from Philadel- 
phia and took up his residence with his brother at Goshenhoppen. 
It would appear that Father Graessl also left Philadelphia for a 
time in the interest of peace and harmony. Fathers Molyneux and 
Beeston continued at St. Mary's in their previous relation, until 
March, 1 788, when Father Graessl returned from Delaware and 


took his place as assistant. Father Molyneux then retired to Bo- 
hemia, Maryland, and Father Francis Beeston became pastor of 
St. Mary's. 

Father Beeston's first work was the erection of a new rectory, 
as the old house was inconveniently small, so small indeed that 
Father Molyneux had described his quarters as "a Carthusian cell." 
Writing to Father Carroll, inviting him to stay at St. Joseph's, he 
said : "I have a library well fitted up in the choir of the old chappell 
and partitioned off from the same." 

To proceed with this work it was necessary to take up the 
matter of boundary lines between the Catholic lot and the Quaker 
property on the east, as a change had been made in these as a 
result of an arbitration in 1 787. When St. Joseph's chapel was 
built in 1 734, although there was a Walnut Street front to the 
church property, it was completely occupied by buildings and the 
stableyard, and so the Catholics used the entrance on Walnut Street 
to the Quaker Almshouse grounds, turning off into their own prop- 
erty beside the church. The years that followed gave the Catholics 
a right of way by prescription, and therefore when this was ques- 
tioned, after fifty years, the matter was finally settled by the follow- 
ing report of the Board of Arbitration : 

Arbitration Between the Quakers and Catholics of 

Philadelphia, 1 787. 

(From the Original.) 

We the underwritten Persons appointed Arbitrators by the two Religious 
Societies of the people called Quakers and the Roman Catholicks, considering 
the Rights of the contending parties and what ought to be an equitable Com- 
position between them respecting their adjoining Lots are of opinion that the 
Society of the people called Quakers ought to have the Sole exclusive Right 
of the passage of the present alley on Walnut Street adjoining the West end 
passage of the Almshouse as far as six feet to the Southwest of the said 
Almshouse allowing the Roman Catholick Society the privilege of Lights 
into the said alley & shedding the water into the same from the Roofs 
of any buildings which may be erected adjoining the alley. We are 
also of opinion that the Roman Catholick Society should from the end 
of the said six feet extend their Ground Eastward to a line at the distance 
of one hundred and forty eight and an half feet Eastward from the Line 
of Fourth Street and run from thence in a straight line to the Southern 


Extremity of their Ground and that each of the said parties should execute 
Releases to the other conformable hereto. BENJAMIN CHEW, 

7 May, 1 787. EDW'D SHIPPEN, 


In the meantime Father Molyneux prepared for the decision of 
the Board by purchasing in 1 785 from George Meade for £600 
a piece of ground adjoining the church property on the west, 220 
feet in depth and 24% feet on Walnut Street. To pay for this he 
afterwards sold a plot of the church property, 80 feet in depth 
and including part of the Walnut Street front, leaving enough, how- 
ever, for a free passage to Walnut Street, and thus making the 
dimension of the church property as it is to-day, 64 by 140 feet, 
exclusive of the Walnut Street entrance. Willing' s Alley was 
opened on the southern line of the property in 1 746, and thus pro- 
vided access from the south. 

By the decision of the Arbitration Board the eastern line of 
the church property was extended to embrace a strip of the Quakers' 
ground, by way of compensation for the relinquishment of the pre- 
scriptive right which the Catholics had acquired to the common 
entrance on Walnut Street. When, therefore, Father Beeston 
prepared to erect the new rectory, there had first to be made the 
measurement of the boundary in accord with the report of the Board, 
made two years before, and the following is the experts' report: 

At the request of Mr. Francis Beeston, the subscribers measured the 
depth of the friends Almshouse, which we found one hundred and four feet 
from the south side of Walnut Street, to which add the six feet Southward 
of the wall of s'd almshouse, makes the alley mentioned in the deed of release 
between Sam'I. Sansom & John Lewis 2 to measure one hundred and ten feet 
from Walnut Street. 

Philad. September 14th, 1789. JAMES PEARSON, 


Agreement between the Quake's & Catholics concerning Lot &c, in 

The rectory built by Father Beeston is the present building 
used as a dwelling by the priests at St. Joseph's. 

2 "John Lewis" was the Jesuit in whose name was the title of the ground 
under and around the Church. 

The Founding of Holy Trinity. 

HE increased number of St. Mary's congregation 
had necessitated Father Farmer's obtaining in 
1 785 the then rare privilege for himself and 
Father Molyneux of saying two Masses each on 
Sundays and holidays of obligation. Another 
church was needed and desired by the German 
members of the congregation, but the strong and commendable 
bond of language and origin that held closely together the 
German members of St. Mary's did not prevent them from be- 
ing one with their fellow Catholics, and therefore until St. 
Mary's was in a position to do without the substantial support of 
the Germans, and until there was a supply of priests to warrant the 
separation, the erection of another church was not to be considered. 
The natural desire to rest with their kin and countrymen had 
prompted the Germans to purchase, 29 February, 1 768, a lot of 
ground 26 x 282 feet south of the original burial-ground at St. 
Mary's. In the purchase and erection of both St. Joseph's and 
St. Mary's ; in the various improvements and works of the parish all 
nationalities labored together, and no more generous contributions 
are recorded than those of the German members. 

Father Farmer's influence had been a prominent factor in 
preserving harmony among the different nationalities of St. Mary's, 
and after his death the presence of the several German priests noted 
in the last chapter, and the fact that the parish affairs of St. Mary's 
were in a prosperous state, made it evident that at last the desired 
plan could be executed and another church erected for the Germans, 
where the language and customs of the Fatherland would obtain, 
and their children be instructed in the tongue of their people. As- 
cordingly, 27 February, 1 788, Adam Premir, acting for the Ger- 
mans, bought from the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania 


a lot of ground at the northwest corner of Sixth and Spruce Streets, 
extending 68 feet 1 inches on Sixth Street and 1 98 feet on Spruce 
Street. This location was then "deemed far out of town — a long 
muddy walk. There were no streets paved near to it and no houses 
were then nigh. This neighborhood, to the Pennsylvania Hospital 
was quite beyond cilvilization." 1 

Fifth St. was really the western boundary of the city proper and here 
were located the different graveyards, as sufficiently out of town. Thus at 
Cherry St. we have the two Lutheran burial grounds; diagonally opposite, at 
the north west corner of Arch St. the Presbyterian ground; at the south east 
corner of the same streets the Episcopal ground; a square further down, just 
below Market St. we have the resting place of the Sabbatarian Baptists, while 
below Walnut St. we have the consecrated ground of the Catholic Church 
upon the east side, with the burial place of the Free Quakers upon the west 
side of Fifth St. 2 

The prison at Sixth and Walnut and the Potter's Field at 
what is now Washington Square added to the gruesome atmos- 
phere of the section. 

Adam Premir and his associates notified the Rev. John Carroll 
of their action and begged his approbation for the proposed new 
church. To which the following reply was made by the Superior: 

Baltimore, 3 March, 1788. 

I was honoured last Thursday with your favour of 23 Feb., requesting 
my approbation of your design to erect a new Church in Philadelphia princi- 
pally for the accommodation of the German congregation. After thanking 
you for your very obliging reference to me in this matter, you may be assured 
that I cannot but approve and encourage every well digested plan for the 
accommodation of your congregation, and their better instruction in their 
religious duties, as far therefore as your design is conducive to these purposes 
it has my hearty approbation. Besides I think that this farther benefit may 
result from your undertaking to animate the pastors of each church in all 
future times by mutual example, to greater exercises of zeal and labour in 
the service of God. 

On the other hand I am not enough acquainted with your ability to pro- 
vide a house and mantenance for your new pastor to enable me to judge how 

1 Watson's Annals, I, p. 485. 

2 Julius Sachse : The Religious and Social Conditions of Philadelphia 
1790- 1800. 


prudent your plan may be at this time. I hope there is no danger of causing 
such a separation amongst Roman Catholicks, as will prevent divine service 
from being performed with the same concourse and general approbation as at 
present. By embracing too many objects, we sometimes fail in all; and pull 
down old establishments by endeavoring to raise new ones. I hope that you 
have weighed these matters maturely, and dispasionately. Many of you are 
well acquainted with Mr. Pellentz and know his merits, virtue and attachment 
to his countrymen. I could wish him to be consulted on this occasion. 

If your letter had not given me assurances to the contrary I should 
have felt suspicion that your design arose from some resentment at my 
refusing to appoint Mr. Heilbron agreeably to your recommendation, as 
I then acted from the conviction of my mind and in the exercise of my 
rightful authority so now do I see no reason to repine at my determination. 
I shall even have an additional reason to be pleased at it, if it should become 
the occasion of so great a good as the raising of a new church, provided 
with the means of its own support without injuring that in which most of you 
were born again to Christ, and were so often fed with the bread of angels and 
the words of eternal life. Above all things be mindful of charity and 
brotherly love, avoid contentions, never assuming the exercise of that power, 
which can only be communicated to the minister of Christ; let the election 
of the pastor of your new church be so settled that every danger of a tumultuous 
appointment be avoided as much as possible. In any country this would be 
hurtful to religion, in this it would totally destroy it. Do not think that you 
are abridged of your rights when you have not this appointment in your 
own hands; in the country of your forefathers there are very few instances 
if any, of its being in the hands of the people at large and I hope you will not 
attempt to fix it in that manner. As you undertake to raise your church 
at your own charge and with your own industry, it is possible, you may have 
it in view to reserve to yourselves the appointment of its clergyman, even with- 
out the concurence of the ecclesiastical superior. On this matter I request to 
hear again from you as I conceive it may involve consequences to religion of 
the most serious nature. 

I have now told you my mind fully on the subject of your letter. Your 
professions of zeal and submission required a full communication from me. 
Wishing most sincerely an increase of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, that your 
present designs may contribute thereunto and that you may be governed by 
his spirit in all your proceedings, I have the honor to be with great respect 
and attachment, Gentlemen, 

Your most obed't and devoted servant in Christ. 

John Carroll. 3 

'Original MS. in Archives of Baltimore Cathedral. 


With this approbation, the project for the new church was 
undertaken. In the negotiations required for the withdrawing of 
part from the Congregation of St. Mary's and the application to 
the Legislature for charters for both parishes, some friction devel- 
oped concerning the ground purchased and used by the Germans as 
burial-ground and yet included in the property of St. Mary's 
Church. The demand that this should be reckoned as belonging 
to the new parish was readily granted and the incident passed. 
The following letters from Father Carroll to members of the new 
parish explain themselves : 

31 March, 1788 (White Marsh.) 

I should have writen you sooner had I not been obliged to leave Balti- 
more very suddenly on Easter Sunday. The sentiments contained in your 
last letters so expressive, of a regard for your pastors and of a desire to live 
in great harmony with your brethren, did not prepare me for the information 
I have since received and from which I learn that some of you, upon the 
ground of a most causeless apprehension put in their case against the pass- 
ing of an act of incorporation and after that cause of uneasiness was readily 
removed the same persons continued on frivolous pretences to oppose a measure 
which has been urged and solicited those several years. Thus more divisions 
stirred up, at the very time, that assurances were sent me of the most perfect 
disposition to cultivate peace and that in consequence of these assurances I 
had given my conditional assent to your proposal of building, more indeed 
for the preservation of charity, and in the hope of its being hereafter conducive 
to the interests of religion, than for any conviction of its being necessary at 
this time. I am sorry to add that some of the persons most active in opposing 
the petition for incorporation are endeavoring to raise up a spirit of discontent 
against their present pastors for no other reason, than that they received their 
education from those men to whose zeal this country in general and your 
congregation in particular are solely and entirely indebted for the examples 
and monuments of religion which subsist among them. When I hear of such 
proceedings my fears return upon me that motives suggested by disappoint- 
ment, rather than piety and charity lie at the bottom of some late proceedings. 
I am far from imputing these motives to all. I doubt not but many virtuous 
and well meaning christians have been misled by specious pretexts. The authors 
of dissensions and sowers of discontent between Pastors and their flock have 
been always punished by the Church with exemplary severity and I should 
be wanting in my duty if I did not let her censures fall on them who should 


contumaciously persevere after charitable admonitions in such sinful practices 
and so destructive of our holy religion. 

I should never forgive myself, could I conceive that my conditional 
approbation of your building should be construed into an argument of my ap- 
proving likewise the measures which some have lately pursued. God will not 
bless undertakings begun with such a spirit of bitterness. Little will it avail 
to raise temples to him, if thro' want of charity and docility to your pastors 
you destroy the temple of the Holy Ghost in your hearts. 

With most solicitous regard for the preservation of Christian charity, 
subordination and your eternal welfare, I have the honor to be, 
Gentlemen, your most devoted servant in Christ, 


Baltimore, 15 June, 1788. 

Yesterday at my return to this place I received your favor of the 10th, 
containing a retraction of the unguarded expression contained in a former 
letter and promising likewise to decline any opposition to a bill of incorporation 
provided the little property belonging to the German congregation be excepted 
out of the act. I hear that is already done, tho' it appears to me that as a 
very considerable and respectable part of the German congregation does not 
unite with you in the new building and separation from the old congregation 
consisting of all nations, you are not warranted to make such a demand. 
However, if they are willing to give you this satisfaction I have no objection. 
Perfect and general charity must be obtained wherever it can be obtained 
without the sacrifice of the essential interests of religion for if these give way 
charity so purchased will neither be sincere or lasting. 

As I have just heard that the corner stone of the new building has been 
blessed it is unnecessary to send any further directions concerning that matter. 

Cultivate peace and unity with all, forsake all wrangling, renounce ail 
anger and bitterness. Thus will you render the cause of God more essential 
services than any others you can perform. I have the honor to be 
Sir, Yr. most obed't servant in Christ, 



When I first answered your most obliging letter brought by Mr. Bussy as 
I had not that letter with me I conceived it would be necessary to write you 
more fully afterwards. But when I returned hither and examined again your 
favor to me I did not find in it any matter requiring particular discussion and 
have therefore contented myself till this time with the acknowledgment, I 


have made already not only of my own obligations to you but those of 
religion itself. I cannot, however delay any longer informing you that I 
receive the greatest satisfaction from your steady adherence to the principles 
of Christian piety, your docility and your good understanding and harmony 
with your pastors. The example you have now given will perpetuate virtues 
and blessings in the congregation long after you are gone as I doubt not you 
will go sooner or later to receive the reward in heaven of the good works and 
particularly of the regularity, charity and obedience of which you were pattern 
here. I earnestly beg you to recommend in your devotion to God the restora- 
tion of peace and concord, to encourage by word and example frequent recourse 
to the sacraments and to promote a spirit of sobriety and moderation in worldly 
amusements and to employ for these good purposes all the authority which 
you derive from your experience, from the esteem in which you are universally 
held and the confidence which is placed in you. With greatest respect I have 
the honor to be, 

Gentlemen, Yr. most obed't and humble servant 

Messrs. Joseph Eck and others of the German Congregation. 

As these letters show, the kindly admonitions of the Superior 
were received in a becoming manner and with full acknowledgment 
of his authority. Not a little of the docile spirit displayed was due 
to the tact of Father Carroll who had the divine gift of ruling men 
in prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. The business of 
forming the new parish progressed, and a charter was granted 
4 October, 1 788, under the title "The Trustees of the German 
Religious Society of Roman Catholics called the Church of the 
Holy Trinity in the city of Philadelphia." The following were 
the incorporators of Holy Trinity: George Ernest Lechler, Henry 
Home, Christopher Shorty, and Thony Hookey, Jacob Thrien, 
James Oellers, Charles Bauman, and Adam Premir. 

The work of building the church was going on in the mean- 
time and 22 November, 1 789, the building was formally dedicated 
to divine service with the Rev. John Charles Baptist Heilbron as 
pastor, who had left Lancaster 3 October, 1 789. 

The building was substantial but severely plain in interior and 
exterior. It stands to-day in outward appearance as it was at the 
dedication, built of alternate red and black glazed bricks with semi- 
hexagonal walls and hipped roof. The new church was naturally 


an object of curiosity and much frequented by non-Catholics curious 
to see the various celebrations. An account of one of these is given 
under date of 6 January (Feast of the Epiphany), 1790, in the 
Diary of Jacob Hillzheimer, who lived on the west side of Seventh 
Street near Market Street: 

Went to the new Catholic church of the Holy Trinity at corner of 6th 
and Spruce St. The foundation stone of which was layed in the Summer 
of 1788. Shortly after being seated a gentleman came to me and very 
politely asked me to take a pew nearer the Altar and took me to one in 
which was the Rev. Mr. Blackwell. When the collection plate was handed 
around we put on a dollar each. In addition to the officiating priest there were 
12 boys and 14 girls dressed in white each with a candle. I counted 98 
candles burning. 

On 1 3 November, 1 790, Adam Premir, who had purchased 
the property and still held title, conveyed it to the Trustees of the 
church, among whom is named the Rev. John Charles Heilbron. 
This priest's first record at Holy Trinity was of a baptism dated 
6 February, 1 790, to which he signed his name as Primus Curator, 
His last record is dated 18 October, 1 791 . His brother, the Rev. 
Peter Heilbron, had come from Goshenhoppen, having been ap- 
pointed 4 July, 1791, as assistant at Holy Trinity and on 13 No- 
vember, 1791, Father John Charles set out for Spain to collect 
funds for the church, but was never heard from again. It is sup- 
posed that he was lost at sea. Father Peter Heilbron, who then 
became pastor, is described as 

a man of culture and refinement; punctiliously neat and precise in his priestly 
attire and duties; sitting his horse with a military grace and repose that 
formed an unfailing source of admiration to his flock and perhaps not untinct- 
ured with a little pardonable pride on the part of the rider. This accomplish- 
ment is easily accounted for by the fact that Father Heilbron had done military 
duty in Prussia before his elevation to the priesthood. 4 

In 1793 the Rev. Lawrence Phelan was appointed assistant 
at Holy Trinity. This priest preached fluently in French, and his 
services were required for the large number of French refugees who 
had come to Philadelphia from France and San Domingo. 

* Rev. H. G. Ganss in History of St. Patrick's, Carlisle, Pa. 

St. Mary's Incorporated. — The Yellow Fever. — The 
Two Fathers Keating. — Father Fleming. — Co-Ad- 
jutor Bishop. 

N 13 September, 1 788, St. Mary's Church was 
incorporated by the legislature and a charter was 
granted to "The Trustees of the Roman Cath- 
olic Society worshipping at the Church of St. 
Mary's in the city of Philadelphia." The orig- 
inal incorporators were the Rev. Robert Moly- 
neux, the Rev. Francis Beeston, the Rev. Laurence Graessl, George 
Meade, Thomas FitzSimons, James Byrne, Paul Esling, John 
Cottringer, Joseph Eck, Mark Willcox, and John Carrell. The 
first meeting of the Trustees was held 9 November, 1 788, when 
all were present excepting Father Molyneux, then residing at Bo- 
hemia, Father Graessl, who was absent on his missions, and Mark 
Willcox, who resided at Concord, Chester County. John Carrell 
was elected Secretary and George Meade Treasurer. On 14 
April, 1 789, the first election was held under the charter, and 
George Meade, James Byrne, Paul Esling, Joseph Eck, John 
Carrell, Redmond Byrne, Michael Green, and John Rudolph were 
elected Trustees. 

The prosperous condition of the Church in the United States 
and the brilliant future clearly outlined for it under the liberal 
government of the New Republic attracted priests from Europe. 
Many of these were men of ability and accomplishments, who 
worked with zealous love in the growing Church; others were far 
from commendable, and, judged from their acts, were not actuated 
by unselfish motives. 

The great wisdom of the Superior, Dr. Carroll, was taxed 
to guide the Church in this formative period, when its prosperous 
growth exposed it to many dangers. Not the least of these was 


the trouble in the New York district, where Father Carroll's au- 
thority was resisted by turbulent spirits under the unfortunate Father 
Nugent, and where drastic measures were necessary to produce 
peace. It became evident that there was needed a bishop with the 
fullest powers. Accordingly a committee of the clergy appointed 
for the purpose and consisting of the Very Rev. John Carroll, the 
Rev. Robert Molyneux, and the Rev. John Ashton, petitioned the 
Pope, Pius VI, reminding him of the design of the Sacred Congre- 
gation of the Propaganda to appoint a bishop whenever it was 
understood that this would be seasonable, and declaring 

in the common name of all the priests laboring here we declare that in our 
opinion the time has now come when the episcopal dignity and authority are 
very greatly desired. We experience more and more in the Constitution of 
this very free republic, that if there are even among the ministers of the 
sanctuary, any men of indocile mind and chafing under ecclesiastical disci- 
pline, they allege as an excuse for their license and disobedience that they 
are bound to obey bishops exercising their own authority and not a mere 
priest exercising any vicarious jurisdiction. 

The petition then begged that the Pope would erect a new episcopal 
see in the United States and that "the election of the bishop, at 
least for the first time, be permitted to the priests, who now exercise 
the religious ministry here and have the care of souls." 

The Holy See acted promptly on this petiton, and allowed 
the priests not only to elect the new bishop, but to name, as well, 
the city that was to be honored as the first episcopal see in the 
United States. While Philadelphia had claims that merited this 
distinction as the most important city and the home of Independ- 
ence, as well as the one city where the Church had been permitted 
absolute freedom from the very beginning, it was decided by the 
clergy assembled at Whitemarsh to select Baltimore as the episcopal 
seat, "this being the principal town of Maryland and that State 
being the oldest and still the most numerous residence of our religion 
in America." By the suffrages of those present the Very Rev. 
John Carroll was then elected as their choice to be the first bishop 
of the new see. When the necessary Bulls, dated 6 November, 
1 789, were received, the Bishop-elect set out for England, where 


he was consecrated by the venerable senior Vicar Apostolic of 
England, the Right Rev. Charles Walmesley, Bishop of Rama, 
on 1 5 August, 1 790, in the private chapel of Lullworth Castle, in 
Dorchester, England. 

In 1 789 the Rev. Thomas Keating of Ireland arrived in 
Philadelphia, but he remained only a short time, as Father Bees- 
ton made a statement to the Trustees showing that the income al- 
lowed the clergy would not support three priests. The amount 
received during that year, 1789, was $1211.55. Father Keating 
was accordingly transferred by Bishop Carroll to Charleston, S. C, 
where he founded St. Mary's Church. As a third priest was 
really needed at St. Mary's, the Trustees arranged the matter and 
on 3 December, 1 789, the Rev. Francis A. Fleming, O. P., who 
had been Rector of the Irish College, Lisbon, Spain, arrived in 
Philadelphia. His name was sent by the Trustees to the Bishop- 
elect, and he was appointed one of the pastors of St. Mary's. 
Father Fleming was an eloquent preacher, and his sermon on St. 
Patrick's Day, 1 790, was published by Matthew Carey, and has 
the distinction of being the first sermon on the Patron of Ireland 
to be published in the United States. 

In July of 1 790 the Rev. Christopher Vincent Keating, O. P., 
arrived from Dublin, to assist Father Fleming, as Father Beeston, 
after nearly four years in Philadelphia, had retired to Bohemia 
Manor, where he died in 1809. Bishop Carroll paid this eloquent 
tribute to his work in Philadelphia: 

Laboring earnestly, diligently and with his native activity of mind and 
body which always distinguished him, exerting himself on behalf of the 
objects of his particular care. In the pulpit, at the altar, near the bed of 
sickness and in the haunts of poverty and distress he was assiduous, not only 
never refusing his assistance but often anticipating the consolations and 
charitable instructions which his station either commanded or peculiarly recom- 
mended. Public applause was not the object of his ambition and though 
he employed himself with exemplary constancy in rendering every service 
in his power, yet he was always desirous of an appointment to take charge 
of a congregation in the country where he would find fewer attractions to an 
indulgence of self approbation and more correspondence with the admonitions 
of religion. It appeared to him that the simplicity and innocence of manners 


which generally attend the pursuits of an agricultural life would reward his 
labours with more docility and effect At his request, therefore, he was 
removed to the charge of two or three congregations on the Eastern Shore 
of Maryland. 

One of Father Beeston's works in Philadelphia was the erec- 
tion of a new presbytery at St. Joseph's which still serves as resi- 
dence for the priests there. On his visit to Philadelphia, 28 
December, 1 789, Bishop Carroll wrote : 

In this town we have now two very handsome, large churches, besides 
the old original chapel which was the cradle of Catholicity here. This 
serves for a domestic chapel, being contiguous to the Presbytery house; and 
there is more consolation in it than in the more splendid services of the other 
churches, for here it is that every day and especially on Sunday the sacra- 
ments are frequented. In the Presbytery house, lately built, live Messrs. 
Beeston and Graessl (a most amiable ex- Jesuit), and Mr. Fleming, an 
Irish Dominican, lately from Dublin, a gentleman of amiable manners and 
temper and an excellent scholar. 

In August of 1 790 the Rev. Thomas Keating returned from 
Charleston and remained in Philadelphia until his death from yel- 
low fever, 7 March, 1 793. He received no salary from the 
Trustees, but his will shows that he had a private competence for 
his support. He assisted the other priests, however, at St. Mary's 
and St. Joseph's in their duties. 

An interesting event in the history of the Church in Philadel- 
phia was the visit, in 1791, to this city of the Vicomte Francois 
Rene de Chateaubriand, the illustrious French author of The Genius 
of Christianity. As an ardent abolitionist he was much interested 
in the slaves of Philadelphia, not a few of whom were Catholics. 
For these colored people he wrote the hymn "Hail, Happy Queen," 
(still a favorite hymn of Sodalists), to be sung at their evening 
service in St. Joseph's. 

In 1791 Bishop Carroll called the first Provincial Synod to 
meet in Baltimore, and on 9 November of that year the officials 
and priests of the vast diocese assembled. Father Fleming, who 
had been appointed Vicar General of the Northern District, and 
the Rev. Laurence Graessl, represented Philadelphia. 


The following correspondence is a commentary on some of 
the work of the Philadelphia priests in those days: 

At a meeting of the Hibernian Society for the relief of emigrants from 
Ireland, held the 3rd. day of September, 1 792, Dr. James Hutchinson, one 
of the physicians of the port of Philadelphia, informed the society of sundry 
acts of humanity and benevolence conferred by the Rev. Mr. Keating and 
the Rev. Mr. Fleming, of the Roman Catholic Church, of this city, on several 
persons lately arrived here, in the ship "Queen" from Londonderry, in Ireland ; 
and it appearing to the society that the unsolicited but well-timed and gen- 
erous exertions of those gentlemen, as well by pecuniary aids as by personal 
attendance the lives of several poor persons, passengers in the said ship, 
have been saved from the ravages of an infectious disease which unhappily 
prevailed in the ship, it was unanimously 

Resolved, That the thanks of the Hibernian Society be presented to the 
Rev. Mr. Keating and the Rev. Mr. Fleming for their humane attention to 
several of the passengers from on board the ship "Queen" lately arrived from 
Londonderry, Ireland. 

EDWARD FOX, Secretary- 

The above resolution was enclosed with the following letter: 

REVEREND GENTLEMEN: It is with pleasure that I have the honor to 
transmit to you a vote unanimously passed at a very large meeting of the 
Hibernian Society, held the 3rd. inst. This tribute of the respect of the 
society is amongst the temporal rewards which benevolent hearts like yours 
command from all mankind. May He whose example you have followed 
in "going about doing good" further reward you by teaching others "to go 
and do likewise." 

With the highest sentiments of respect, I am, reverend gentlemen, your 
very obedient servant, 

4 September, 1 792. 

Secy Hibernian Society. 
To the Rev. Mr. Keating and the Rev. Mr. Fleming. 

The Secretary of the Society received the following answer to 
the foregoing: 

SlR: The vote of thanks from the Hibernian Society, which you were 
pleased to transmit to us in so polite a manner, is a reward which we have 
no title to expect for having afforded the relief in our power to some Irish 


emigrants lately arrived whom our pastoral charge required us to visit in their 
sickness. On viewing the scenes of distress, which presented themselves on 
these occasions, we should become objects of the censure pronounced against 
"the Priest and Levite" in that beautiful passage of the Gospel to which 
you allude. We request you, sir, to present to the respectable Hibernian 
Society, at their next meeting, our acknowledgment and gratitude for so 
unmerited a mark of their esteem, and believe us to be your very obliged and 
humble servants, 


Father Fleming gave public proof of his scholarship as well 
as his priestly devotion by his part in the religious controversy that 
waged in the newspapers of Philadelphia in the year 1 792. In 
January of that year Miers Fisher, a member of the Pennsylvania 
Assembly, had opposed the grant of a lottery privilege. In the 
course of the debate he declared that "lotteries were like the Pope's 
indulgences, forgiving and permitting sins, to raise money." Mr. 
Matthew Carey in a letter to The Advertiser took exception to 
this statement of Mr. Fisher, whereupon the latter in a public letter 
in the same paper expressed "a sensible regret that he should wound 
the feelings of any individual, much more of the whole Society 
for whose general character in this country he has very high respect." 
He expressed his sorrow for having made the odious comparison, 
and explained that "from his reading he has long entertained the 
idea that the Roman Pontiff claimed the power and had frequently 
exercised it to the grief of the sincere members of that church." 
He further begged that he might be given a book treating on the 
subject in order to have removed from his mind "a prejudice which 
may have arisen from his being more conversant in the writings of 
their opponents than their own." 

The question, however, was not to end with the dignified 
apology of Mr. Fisher. The Rev. Robert Annan of the Scotch 
Presbyterian Church, who lived at No. 348 S. Front Street, at- 
tacked anew the Church's doctrine of Indulgences over the name 
of "Verus" in the National Gazette, in several letters, to which 
rejoinders were published in the same paper by Matthew Carey over 
the name of "Zwinglius." In six numbers of the Gazette Father 


Fleming, over the name of "Verax," published letters that contained 
a careful exposition of the whole subject, and later he collected the 
literature of the controversy and published all in a pamphlet under 
the title The Calumnies of Verus; or Catholics Vindicated from 
Certain Old Slanders Lately Revived; in a Series of Letters Pub- 
lished in Different Gazettes of Philadelphia. Collected and Re- 
vised by Verax with the Addition of a Prefix and a Few Notes. 

The troublesome times in France caused a great immigration 
to America. Among these refugees were many priests who were 
either driven from France or came in the interest of their countrymen 
here, at the invitation of Bishop Carroll. On 26 March, 1 792, 
there arrived in Philadelphia a party of six French clergymen, each 
of whom afterwards became a prominent figure in the American 
Church: the Rev. Bernard Joseph Flaget, afterwards Bishop of 
Bardstown; the Rev. John B. David, who was consecrated coad- 
jutor to Bishop Flaget; the Rev. Joseph Chicoisneau, who had 
been superior of the Sulpician Seminary at Orleans; the Rev. 
Francis Ciguard, Director of the Seminary of Bruges; the Rev. 
Francis Anthony Matignon, Doctor of the Sorbonne, and the Rev. 
Gabriel Richard, afterwards elected a member of Congress from 
Michigan. With these priests was the Rev. Stephen Badin, a 
sub-deacon, who was ordained by Bishop Carroll at Baltimore, 25 
May, 1 793. He was the first priest ordained in the United States. 

On 24 June, 1 792, the Rev. Ambrose Mareschal, the future 
Archbishop of Baltimore, arrived in Philadelphia. He had been 
ordained just before he set sail. He said his first Mass at St. 

The French emigres from France and San Domingo dwelling 
in Philadelphia in 1 793 were intensely exercised over the events of 
the French Revolution. Their enthusiasm affected all the city in 
greater or less degree. Not more from love of France than from 
hostility to England, then at war with France, the staid city of 
Brotherly Love became the centre of scenes that fill the reader of 
their recital with astonishment. All the abominable features of 
the French Revolution, including the execution of Louis XVI, the 
friend of America, seemed to have been forgotten or lost from sight 


in the magic of the cry of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity." 
Citizen Genet, the ambassador of the new Republic, arrived 16 
May, 1 793, and with his companions was received with most ex- 
travagant demonstrations and feted at the State house. He took 
up his residence at the S. E. corner of Twelfth and High Streets, 
now Market Street. Sympathy with the French Revolutionists 
assumed the most amazing form of a French craze. 

Almost all classes wore the French cockade and tri-color and French 
appellations were adopted. Philadelphia had the appearance of the wicked 
French metropolis. French manners and vices were aped by the American 
male and female. Clubs were formed such as the "Sons of Midnight Frolic," 
etc. Staid men could be seen walking the streets with hats under their arms 
instead of upon their heads, simply because it was French. Women of 
respectability powdered their hair, used cosmetics and patches, and wore 
the tricolor, following the example set by the outcasts in our midst. 11 

So great was the influence of the French craze that on the coins 
struck during this year was substituted for the head of Washington 
the figure of 

a wild-eyed female with flowing hair streaming and unbound, the French idea 
of the Goddess of Liberty ; upon the reverse, the American eagle was relegated 
into obscurity as savoring too much of a Royal Coat of Arms, and replaced 
by a chain of fifteen links. 2 

As an outcome of this spirit, Paine's Rights of Man and 
Age of Reason were widely read, and the atheism that they 
preached was accepted, while sacred things were held up to open 
ridicule by the French infidels and their followers. The political 
excitement was intense and antagonism to England was fanned into 
a blaze by the lawless spirit of the French revolution infused by 
Genet and his company into their American sympathizers. The 
inhabitants of Philadelphia found themselves arrayed in hostile 
camps. President Washington at the head of the government was 
firm in his policy to avoid all entangling foreign alliances. He 

Julius F. Sachse's Religious and Social Conditions of Philadelphia, 1790 



was supported by the best men of the nation who were known as 
Monocrats. These stood for law and order and good government. 
Another party, the "Anglomaniacs," was opposed to any trouble 
with England on French account. Whilst a third and popular 
party, called "Gallomaniacs," embracing such as were lost to all 
sense of decency, had renounced their belief in Almighty God, and 
joined hands with the French rabble in denouncing everything per- 
taining to moral law and religion. 3 These clamored for war with 
France against England. 

The wild intoxication that thus maddened the people was the 
offspring of the spirit of victory in possession of the land and the 
unwonted prosperity that had succeeded the disastrous years of war. 
Matthew Carey, in a pamphlet published at the time, says: 

In this prosperity which revived the almost extinguished hopes of four 
millions of people, Philadelphia shared in an eminent degree. The manu- 
factures, trade, and commerce of this city had for a considerable time been 
improving and extending with great rapidity. Numbers of new houses in 
almost every street, built in a very neat and elegant style, adorned at the 
same time that they greatly enlarged the city. Its population was extending 
fast. Luxury, the usual and perhaps inevitable concomitant of prosperity, 
was gaining ground in a manner very alarming to those who considered how 
far the virtue, the liberty, and the happiness of a nation depend on its tem- 
perance and sober manners. Not to enter into minute detail, let it suffice 
to remark that extravagance in various forms was gradually eradicating the 
plain and wholesome habits of the city. And although it were presumption 
to attempt to scan the decrees of heaven, yet few, I believe, will pretend to 
deny that something was wanting to humble the pride of a city which was 
running on in full career to the goal of prodigality and dissipation. 4 

Whether or not it was a judgment of God on the lawlessness, 
immorality, and religion that made a scandal of Philadelphia, there 
broke out in the city a dreadful plague of yellow fever that checked 
and brought to their senses the disorderly element and averted the 
political calamity that threatened the new nation. In writing to 
Thomas Jefferson relative to the excitement in Philadelphia in 
favor of Citizen Genet and against England, John Adams said: 

3 Ibid. 

4 A Short Account of the Malignant Fever Lately Prevalent in Philadel- 
phia, by Matthew Carey. 


Ten thousand people in the streets every day threatened to drag Wash- 
ington out of his house and effect a revolution in the government or compel 
it to declare war against England. The coolest firmest minds even among the 
Quakers have given their opinion to me that nothing but the yellow fever 
could have saved the United States from a fatal revolution of government. 5 

In the spring and, summer of 1 793 a large number of fugitives 
from the West Indies arrived in this city. As many of them were 
in destitute circumstances, a relief-fund was collected for them of 
$12,000.00. Most of these fugitives had come from islands where 
the yellow fever raged, and without doubt the plague was intro- 
duced by them into Philadelphia. There had been some fatal 
sporadic cases during the spring, and one of those attacked was 
the Rev. Thomas Keating; but the increased number of persons 
arriving in July from infected parts caused the fever to become 

The disease was entirely new to the physicians of the city 
and the scant medical knowledge of the day was unable to cope 
with it. 

Dr. Rush acknowledged with a candor that does him honour that in 
the commencement he so far mistook the nature of the disorder that in his 
early essays having depended on gentle purges of salts, to purify the bowels 
of his patients, they all died. He then tried the mode of treatment adopted 
in the West Indies, viz: Bark, wine, laudanum, and the cold bath, and failed 
in three cases out of four. Afterwards he had recourse to strong purges of 
calomel and jalap, and to bleeding, which he found attended with singular 
success. 6 

This treatment became universal, and Mr. Carey relates that 

its efficacy was great and rescued many from death. I have known, how- 
ever, some persons, who I have every reason to believe fell sacrifices to the 
great reputation this medicine acquired. I am credibly informed that the 
demand for purges of calomel and jalap, was so great that some of the 
apothecaries could not mix up every dose in detail; but mixed a large quan- 
tity of each in the ordered proportions; and afterwards divided it into doses; 
by which means it often happened that one patient had a much larger portion 
of calomel, and another of jalap, than was intended by the doctors. The fatal 
consequences of this may be easily conceived. 

'Westcott's History of Philadelphia. 

'A Short Account of the Malignant Fever Lately Prevalent in Philadel- 
phia, by Matthew Carey. 


So dreadful was the disease, so revolting and rapid in its 
progress, and so generally fatal in its results, that a panic of fear 
seized the city. All who could do so fled from the contagion, and 
it is estimated that of the fifty thousand inhabitants about twenty- 
three thousand left the city. For weeks the roads leading out of 
the city were constantly crowded with the passage of carts, wagons, 
and coaches. Mechanics and artisans were unemployed, for busi- 
ness had come to a standstill. All the newspapers but the Gazette 
suspended publication; theatres were closed, and most of the 
churches held no services, as the assembling of large congregations 
spread the contagion. Elizabeth Drinker in her Journal wrote 
about the end of the summer: 

'Tis most affecting to walk through the streets of our once flourishing 
and happy city. The houses shut up from one corner to another — the inhab- 
itants that remain keeping shut up — very few seen walking about. The 
disorder now, tis said rages much in ye southern part of ye city — that great 
numbers die in that part called Irishtown. 

The most heart-rending instances are given by Matthew Carey 
of the terror that possessed the people and caused even parents to 
forsake their helpless little ones stricken by the fever; wives were 
deserted by their husbands; householders were left alone in their 
illness, or trusted to the care of servants. The appearance of the 
fever in a home seemed to kill all emotion but fear. As rumors 
of the awful state of Philadelphia reached the neighboring towns 
and cities, the strictest precautions were taken by them to pre- 
vent the introduction of the plague by incoming persons or goods. 
Armed guards on the roads to Baltimore prevented approach to 
that city of anyone from the infected district. The entrances by 
stage and boat to New York were guarded by the militia. Stages 
were forbidden to pass through the towns of New Jersey and 
Delaware. The result of this quarantine that closed the markets 
of Philadelphia's exports, added poverty to the other afflictions of 
the fated city. 

On 26 August, the College of Physicians in an address to the 
citizens endeavored to prevent the spread of the contagion by recom- 


mendations concerning food and dress, the marking of infected 
houses, and prevention of intercourse with the sick. Each day of 
August and September, as the plague spread through the city, the 
conditions became more appalling. The number of deaths and the 
dearth of nurses and attendants caused many corpses to lie unburied 
for several days. The burials were made by negroes, who were 
supposed to be immune, and they conveyed the dead in carts, with- 
out any sign of reverence. It was thought that the air might be 
purified by fire, and so huge bon-fires were lighted at the street 
corners, until their ineffectiveness was proved and the practice was 
forbidden by a proclamation of the Mayor. 

As a substitute many had recourse to the firing of guns which they 
imagined was a certain preventive of the disorder. This was carried so far 
and attended with such danger that it was forbidden by an ordinance of the 

Matthew Carey thus described the effect of the plague's prog- 

The consternation of the people of Philadelphia at this period was 
carried beyond all bounds. Dismay and affright were visible in almost 
every person's countenance. Most of those who could, by any means, make 
it convenient fled the city; of those who remained many shut themselves up 
in their houses, and were afraid to walk the streets. The smoke of tobacco 
being regarded as a preventive, many persons even women and small boys, 
had segars almost constantly in their mouths. Others placing full confidence 
in garlic, chewed almost the whole day; some kept it in their pockets and 
shoes. Many houses were hardly a moment in the day free from the smell 
of gunpowder, burned tobacco, nitre, sprinkled vinegar. Some of the churches 
were almost deserted and others wholly closed. The coffee house was shut 
up, as was the city library and most of the public offices. Many were almost 
incessantly employed in purifying, scouring and whitewashing their rooms. 
Those who ventured abroad had handkerchiefs, or sponges impregnated with 
vinegar or camphor at their noses, or smelling-bottles full of the thieves' 
vinegar. Others carried pieces of tarred rope in their hands or pockets, or 
camphor bags tied around their necks. The corpses of the most respectable 
citizens, even of those who did not die of the epidemic, were carried to the 
grave on the shafts of a chair, the horse driven by a negro, unattended by 
a friend or relation and without any sort of ceremony. People hastily shifted 


their course at the sight of a hearse coming towards them. Many never 
walked in the foot paths, but went into the middle of the streets to avoid 
being infected in passing by houses wherein people had died. Acquaintances 
and friends avoided each other in the streets, and only signified their regard 
by a cold nod. The old custom of shaking hands fell into such general 
disuse that many shrunk back with afright at even the offer of the hand. 
A person with crepe or any appearance of mourning was shunned like a viper. 
And many valued themselves highly on the skill and address with which they 
got to windward of every person whom they met. Indeed it is not probable 
that London, at the last stage of the plague, exhibited stronger signs of terror, 
than were to be seen in Philadelphia from the 25 or 26 of August, till 
pretty late in September. 7 

So rapidly had the plague spread that there had been no 
time to secure proper attendance and shelter for the sick. There 
was no hospital in the city to receive them, as the rules of the Penn- 
sylvania Hospital and the Almshouse, at Fourth and Spruce 
Streets, forbade the admission of anyone suffering from a contagious 
disease. The Guardians of the Poor, however, supplied beds and 
bedding and all the money in their treasury, for the relief of the 
sick. The need of a hospital for the poor became imperative, but 
the only available place was Ricket's Circus, at the S. W. Corner 
of Sixth and Chestnut Streets. There was no shelter, however, 
and the seven patients sent there by the Poor Guardians died from 
exposure and lack of attention. The Guardians, therefore, after a 
conference with the city aldermen, seized the large mansion of 
William Hamilton at Bush Hill (the site of the Girls' High School, 
Seventeenth and Spring Garden Streets) as a public hospital, and 
in spite of the opposition of the then tenant, the owner being absent 
from the city, they took possession 3 1 August. 

While the city lay thus under the visitation of the plague, 
there were noble men who gave themselves day and night to the 
loathsome task of succoring the afflicted. Matthew Carey gives 
golden words of praise to the three unselfish Guardians of the Poor, 
for the city, James Wilson, Jacob Tompkins, Jr., and William 
Sansom, who remained at their post when the other members of 
the board had left. The Guardians for Northern Liberties, Wm. 

* A Short Account of the Malignant Fever, etc. 


Peter Sprague and William Gregory, and those of Southwark, 
Clemens Humphreys, John Cornish, and Robert Jones, faithfully 
did their duty in visiting the sick and burying the dead. These 
few officials, however, were unable to cope with the tremendous 
distress, and many private individuals gave their personal services 
as well as their money to deeds of mercy. 

An auxiliary committee composed of Israel Israel, Samuel 
Wetherill, Thomas Wistar, Andrew Aldgate, Caleb Louries, 
Henry De Forest, Thomas Peters, Joseph Inskeep, Stephen Gi- 
rard, and John Mason, offered themselves to assist the Guardians 
of the Poor. These, with others who associated themselves later, 
formed a permanent committee of relief. They borrowed $1500 
from the Bank of North America, and took on themselves the 
whole management of the situation, the hiring of physicians, nurses 
and attendants, and the care of the sick, the widows, and orphans. 

The committee's investigation of Bush Hill Hospital discovered 

a state of affairs there which was truly deplorable. It exhibited as wretched 
a picture of human misery as ever existed. A profligate abandoned set of 
nurses and attendants (hardly any of good character could at that time be 
procured) rioted on the provisions and comforts prepared for the sick who 
(unless at the hours when the doctors attended) were left almost entirely 
destitute of any assistance. The sick, the dying and the dead were indis- 
criminately mingled together. Not the smallest appearance of order or regu- 
larity existed. It was, in fact, a human slaughter house, where numerous 
victims were immolated at the altar of riot and intemperance. No wonder 
then a general dread of the place prevailed in the city and that a removal to 
it was considered as the seal of death. In consequence there were many in- 
stances of persons locking their rooms and resisting every attempt to carry 
them away. The poor were so much afraid of being sent to Bush Hill that 
they would not acknowledge their illness until it was no longer possible to 
conceal it. 8 

The wretched condition of affairs at the Hospital was no 
sooner made known by the report of the Managers than Stephen 
Girard volunteered to act as Superintendent of the Hospital. Peter 
Helm, also a member of the Committee, volunteered to assist him. 
They entered on their dangerous and praiseworthy office that same 
day, 15 September, 1793. 

' Ibid. ~ 


To form a just estimate of the value of the offer of these men, it is 
necessary to take into full consideration the general consternation which at that 
period pervaded every quarter of the city and which made attendance on the 
sick be regarded as little less than a certain sacrifice. Uninfluenced by any 
reflections of this kind, without any possible inducement but the purest 
motives of humanity, they came forward and offered themselves as the forlorn 
hope of the committee. 9 

Girard at once set himself to remedy the affairs of the Hospital, 
and the rules and regulations made and insisted on by him, and 
the care and tenderness with which the sick were treated, soon 
re-established the character of the Hospital. But so dreadful was 
the epidemic that of the 1000 admitted to the Hospital between 
15 September and 30 November, five hundred died, and most of 
these within a day or two after their arrival. This mortality, Carey 
says, arose from the fact that 

in a variety of cases the early fears of the hospital had such firm possession 
of the minds of some, and others were so much actuated by foolish pride, that 
they would not consent to be removed until they were past recovery. 

The new managers were most faithful in their duties. 

During the whole calamity they have attended uninterruptedly for six, 
seven, and eight hours a day, renouncing almost every care of private affairs. 
They had a laborious tour of duty to perform. Stephen Girard, whose 
office was in the interior part of the hospital, has had to encourage and com- 
fort the sick, to hand them necessaries and medicines, to wipe the sweat off 
their brows and to perform many disgusting offices of kindness for them, 
which nothing could render tolerable but the exalted motives that impelled 
him to this heroic conduct. Peter Helm, his worthy coadjutor, displayed in 
his department, equal exertions to promote the common good. 

During the horrors of the plague that tested men's nature there 
were many noble heroes who cheerfully gave themselves for their 
brothers, and among these the physicians and clergy of the city 
merit golden praise. Day and night they were indefatigable in 
their attendance on the sick and dying. Nor was their work con- 
fined to their professional duties; with utmost charity they per- 

• Ibid. 


formed the loathsome work of relieving the physical needs of the 
sick, feeding the hungry and acting as nurses to the forsaken fever- 
patients. Many of these escaped the contagion in spite of their 
constant exposure, and Matthew Carey gives unstinted praise to 
the labors of the Rev. Henry Helmuth, pastor of the German 
Lutheran Church, "whose whole time during the prevalence of 
the disorder was spent in the performance of the works of mercy, 
and to so many dangers was he exposed that he stands a living 
miracle of preservation." Others, however, crowned their sacrifices 
with their lives. In the five or six weeks during which the disease 
raged, ten physicians died. They were Doctors Hutchinson, Morris, 
Linn, Pennington, Dodds, Johnson, Glentworth, Phile, Graham, 
and Green. Of those who escaped death, scarcely one was not 
prostrated by the fever. The clergymen who died martyrs to their 
duty were the Rev. Alexander Murray of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, the Rev. John Wuekhouse of the German Reformed, the 
Rev. James Sproat of the Presbyterian, the Rev. William Dough- 
erty of the Methodist, and four preachers of the Friends Society — 
Daniel Ossley, Huson Langstroth, Michael Minier, and Charles 
Williams. The priests at St. Mary's had spent wearisome weeks 
in their devoted attendance on the sick, and worn out at length all 
three succumbed to the fever in the autumn. Father Christopher 
Keating happily recovered, but the Rev. Laurence Graessl, who 
had been selected as Co-adjutor Bishop of Baltimore, died in Oc- 
tober; and a few days later in the same month Father Fleming fell 
a victim to the plague a second time and died. 

The Federal Gazette of 12 October, 1 793, paid the following 
tribute to the devoted priests: 

Among the victims of the malignant fever now raging in our city perhaps 
there has been hardly a more estimable character hurried away than the 
Rev. F. A. Fleming, one of the pastors of St. Mary's Church. To the 
benignity and piety which ought always to characterize the clerical character, 
he united the politeness and affability of a gentleman, and the knowledge 
and erudition of the most profound and classical scholar. Like his worthy 
and amiable co-adjutor, the Rev. Laurence Graessl, he fell a sacrifice to the 
unremitting attention which he paid to the sick members of his congregation, 
who in these two clergymen, have experienced a loss which will be long felt 
and sincerely regretted. 


These two martyrs to their priestly duties were buried at St. Joseph's, 
with Father Thomas Keating, who had died of the fever in March. 

During the months of pestilence from August to November, 
4041 deaths had occurred in Philadelphia, and of these 335 were 
Catholics. The records of interments at St. Mary's graveyard 
were — in August, 46; in September, 94; in October, 99; in No- 
vember, 1 2 ; a total of 251. Besides these there had been buried 
during these months 30 in the German part of St. Mary's, and 
34 in Holy Trinity graveyard. 

Father Graessl, who died of the fever in October, had been 
named as Co-adjutor Bishop of Baltimore and before the news 
of his death had reached Rome, the Holy Father had appointed 
him Bishop of Samosata and Co-adjutor to Bishop Carroll. 

At the Synod held in Baltimore in 1 791 it had been made 
clear that the exigencies of the infant Church in the United States 
required another bishop, in order that the heavy burden of Bishop 
Carroll might be lightened, and that the Church, in the event of 
Bishop Carroll's death, might be safeguarded against the long delay 
of nominating and consecrating a successor to the See of Baltimore. 
The request of Bishop Carroll that either a new diocese be formed 
or that a co-adjutor Bishop of Baltimore be appointed with the 
right of succession was received favorably by the Sovereign Pon- 
tiff. In the document approving the Decrees of the Synod, Cardinal 
Antonelli, Prefect of the Propaganda, favored the appointment of 
a co-adjutor rather than the erection of another see. The reason 
assigned by him was that as there was not a hierarchy of several 
bishops in the United States, it appeared more expedient that the 
government of the church should be in the hands of one bishop. 
A co-adjutor residing in a distant part of the diocese would have 
supervision of that district, and yet it would be under the admin- 
istration of the Ordinary. Cardinal Antonelli concluded thus: 

This Sacred Congregation, His Holiness's Will being directly expressed, 
enjoins your Lordship to take advice of the older and wiser priests of the 
diocese and propose a clergyman, one of those on the American Mission, 
who might be fit and acquainted with the condition of affairs and the Holy 
Father would then appoint him co-adjutor with all necessary and reasonable 


The counsel taken by the Bishop in compliance with Cardinal 
Antonelli's request resulted in the selection of the Rev. Father 
Laurence Graessl, assistant priest at St. Mary's. 

The advantage of Philadelphia as the residence of the co- 
adjutor was obvious, since he could from there administer the affairs 
of the vast territory of the Western and Northern portions of the 
diocese. An additional reason for selecting Philadelphia was the 
claim of this city to distinction for the perfect liberty enjoyed by 
the Church under the Charter of William Penn. Father Graessl 
was familiar with the neighboring territory and the prevailing con- 
ditions, and moreover no more zealous or devoted priest could have 
been chosen for the dignity of Co-adjutor Bishop. Father Graessl 
had given himself with saintly zeal to the arduous duties of the 
Pennsylvania and New Jersey missions, and his health had broken 
down under the hardships of his life. Enfeebled by tuberculosis 
of the lungs, he fell an easy victim to the plague and before he 
could receive the honor for which he had been named by his brother- 
priests, his unselfish life was completed by a martyr's crown. Never 
was there more worthy monument to a hero than the following 
letter, the heart-cry of an affectionate son, the valedictory of a 
martyr priest. 

Philadelphia, 19 June, 1793. 
Dear Father, Mother, Sisters! Poor Brother Bernard, and whosoever of you 

is still living, a thousand greetings! 

Very often I have thought of you, dearest, when I wandered so lone- 
some for days through the quiet forest of America. When I, like the voice 
of one crying in the wilderness, preached the Gospel to the dispersed souls, 
so hungry for the word of God, I could not forget my dear, shady Ruebmanns- 
felden, the place of my first youth, where my friends think of me and pray 
for me. Frequently I wished to be back and to salute you all once more in 
this life. But wishes do not carry me back across the ocean. Moreover, 
thanks to God, my wishes did never go contrary to His holy will. But it 
was the will of my Heavenly Father that I should sacrifice the few days of 
my earthly life for the benefit of American Catholics. How good, how 
infinitely good is God for His children. He was satisfied with this small 
sacrifice, with the good will, and now wants to lead me from this wearisome 
pilgrimage to eternal rest. That, at least, in humility of heart, I hope from 
His infinite mercy. Dearest friends, I am sick and according to human 


understanding my days are counted; probably before you read this, my body 
will rest in the grave ; but let the splendid view of eternity be our consolation ; 
there, I hope to God we shall see each other again and never be separated 
any more. My sickness I caught during my last mission trip through the 
extremely sandy roads of Nova Caesarea (New Jersey) on a hot summer 
day. Pains in the chest, short breath, a dry cough, fever setting in every 
evening, nightly sweats, are the symptoms of the sickness whatever you 
may call it. But I am satisfied to die. Death was never terrible to me; 
it is the sweetest consolation of the suffering Christian on earth; it is the 
beginning of a better life in a world, where we shall live forever if only 
by sin we do not put any obstacles in the way. 

Don't expect of me a long description of our city, country, nation, etc. 
You know, in the eyes of a dying man the whole world disappears; his only 
business is to suffer patiently and to die happily. I used to have many friends 
in the quiet, eremitic Gotteszell, — bid them my last farewell. If the pious, 
to me for ever venerable prelate, in holy solitude grown gray, is still alive, tell 
him he should rather congratulate me on my death, for from proper experience 
he must know how burdensome is the prelacy and how heavy is the staff of a 
spiritual shepherd. Of this terrible burden I am set free by friendly death. 
This may appear to you mysterious; I have to explain it to you. There is but 
one Bishop in this extensive country. Should he die, another of the clergy 
would have to travel to Europe to receive the episcopal consecration. There- 
fore, the Pope gave permission to select a co-adjutor bishop who should suc- 
ceed our worthy bishop. The election took place in the beginning of May 
and, dearest parents, the choice fell on your poor Laurence. During this life 
I was destined to become a bishop still. Nothing was more disquieting to 
me than this news; but God heard my prayers, he wants to deliver me, 
unworthy as I am from this heavy burden to make room for one worthier 
than I. Whilst my name, birthplace, etc., went to Rome to receive the 
approbation of the Pope I shall leave this world to rest forever from the 
sufferings of my earthly short pilgrimage. See, this is another reason why 
death is sweet to me and is welcome. I should have readily assumed the 
burden of an American Bishop, yet I should always have had reason to 
tremble on account of the heavy responsibility and on account of my weak 
talents. A small light may perhaps brighten a dark cell but what is it when 
placed on the high altar of a large splendid dome? No further explanation 
is needed. 

Farewell, old friends of my heart! Pray for me that God may 
strengthen me in my last fight. Pray for me. 

Your affectionate, unto death faithful, 



On 21 December, 1793, the Rev. Leonard Neale was ap- 
pointed pastor of St. Mary's Church. He was born at Port To- 
bacco, Maryland, 15 October, 1746, and had been educated at 
St. Omers, Bruges, and Liege. After his ordination he had served 
on the missions at Demarara, and had returned to the United States 
in 1 783. He had been a devoted missionary in Maryland until 
his appointment to Philadelphia. 

When the death of the Rev. Laurence Graessl was made 
known at Rome, Bishop Carroll was requested to make selection 
of another co-adjutor, and, as it had been decided that the co- 
adjutor should be located in Philadelphia, Bishop Carroll with the 
advice of his priests named the Rev. Leonard Neale, then pastor 
of St. Mary's, Philadelphia, "as being the worthiest for prudence, 
ability, and spotless life to be his co-adjutor with the right of 
succession." The choice of Father Neale was acceptable to the 
Sovereign Pontiff, and on 1 7 April, 1 795, Bulls were issued ap- 
pointing him Bishop of Gortyna and Co-adjutor of Baltimore. The 
Revolution in France made it impossible to observe the usual mode 
of transmitting the Bulls through the Papal Nunciature at Paris, 
and the Congregation of the Propaganda sent them by another 
route. They were lost in the journey and never reached Bishop 
Carroll. A set of duplicates sent later met a similar fate. It was 
not until the summer of 1800 that the Bulls appointing Father 
Neale Co-adjutor Bishop were forwarded from Venice by Cardinal 
Stephen Borgia and reached Bishop Carroll. 

The winter cold of 1 793 abated the fury of the dread fever, 
and the College of Physicians' directions regarding the airing and 
cleaning of houses, and sanitary precautions on the part of those 
returning to the city were generally carried out. As a further 
measure of safety, early in the spring of 1794, 2629 cart-loads 
of fresh earth were spread over the surface of St. Mary's grave- 
yard, at a cost of £52 6s. 7%d. The germs of disease, however, 
had not been wholly eliminated from the city, and during 1795 
and 1 796 fatal cases of the fever were reported from time to time. 
In 1 797 the plague broke out anew and became epidemic. The 
death rate was twenty-two per cent, of those who remained in the 


city, and 89 of the 194 interments during the year at St. Mary's 
were of victims of the fever. The summer of 1 798 saw again a 
recurrence of the plague with a fury more dreadful even than that 
of 1 793, the fatalities numbering 3645, twenty- four per cent, of 
the people in the city. Two hundred and forty-eight burials are 
recorded at St. Mary's during the year, most of which were of 
fever victims. Among these was the Rev. Michael Ennis and a 
French priest, the Rev. Joseph La Grange, who died 1 September, 
1 798. The latter was buried in St. Mary's graveyard, and Father 
Ennis at St. Joseph's, under the altar with the other heroic priests, 
Fathers Fleming and Graessl, who had given their lives in the epi- 
demic of 1 793. Another was added to this martyr's company in 
1 799 when the Rev. John Burke perished from the same dread 
disease in the discharge of his duties to the fever victims. 

The Schism at Holy Trinity. — The Establishment of 
St. Augustine's.— The Alien Acts and Riot at St. 
Mary's. — Lottery for St. Augustine's. — Death of 
George Washington. — Dedication of St. Augus- 
tine's. — Parish Boundaries of St. Mary's and St. 

HILE Philadelphia was still shuddering under the 
dreadful effects of the epidemic of 1 793 that had 
decimated the population, depressed all trade, and 
cast a gloom over the city, and during the years 
of the recurring plague that broke out again and 
again with fearful fatality, the city was destined 
to suffer from a spiritual plague that disrupted the peace of the 
Church. Had it not been for the forceful character of Bishop 
Carroll, unending harm would have been wrought by the revolt 
of the Holy Trinity Trustees. 

In the summer of 1 796 the Rev. John Nepomocene Goetz, 
one-time Professor and Preacher of the Royal Imperial Academy 
at Wienerich, New Standt, arrived in Philadelphia and presented 
to the Vicar General, the Rev. Leonard Neale, his certificate of 
ordination and letters of recommendation. On 28 July, Father 
Goetz wrote his application for admission as a priest of the Diocese, 

humbly requesting permission to exercise his priestly duties at Holy Trinity 
Church and solemnly promising he would so diligently acquit himself of the 
sacerdotal duties, which might be committed to him, as to render himself 
worthy of further favours. 11 

He was accordingly appointed by the Bishop to be assistant to the 
Rev. Peter Heilbron and elected by the Trustees. The subordi- 

J Pastoral Letter of Bishop Carroll to the Congregation of Holy Trinity, 
22 Feb., 1797. J Jf 


nate position, however, did not satisfy Father Goetz. To the Trus- 
tees he "protested and declared he did not wish to be assistant to 
Father Heilbron but co-pastor with him with equal rights." 

Inconsistent as this protest was with his humble petition and 
solemn promises to Bishop Carroll, there were in his congregation 
certain malcontents who espoused the cause of Father Goetz. The 
month of August found the parish divided in the respective adherents 
of Father Heilbron the pastor, and Father Goetz the usurper. The 
climax was reached when on 26 September, 1 796, the Trustees 
passed twenty-six resolutions declaring their "power, rights, and 
authority," and sustaining Father Goetz in his contention. The 
question now became one of submission to lawful authority. As 
Father Goetz had been appointed assistant-priest, no one but Bishop 
Carroll could give him the right to be declared pastor. Father 
Heilbron therefore could not agree to the Trustees' appointment of 
Father Goetz as co-pastor without disobedience to his Bishop. On 
8 October the Trustees held a meeting in which Father Heilbron 
was forbidden to hold services at the church and directing that all 
ministration should be performed by Father Goetz. When Father 
Heilbron formally protested against this high-handed order, the 
Trustees sent him the following communication, dated 1 5 October, 

Rev. Sir: 

We hereby inform you that in consequence of your refusal to sign the 
twenty-six resolutions you are hereby dismissed and deposed from your office 
in this church. Furthermore your salary is withdrawn. . . .In case 
you refuse to give up the property of the church we will prosecute you with 
the law. 

Father Heilbron in most dignified manner made reply to this 
outrageous document, and quietly and politely affirmed his authority 
as pastor of Holy Trinity. To avoid disorder, however, he retired 
to St. Joseph's Church, 1 5 October, 1 796, and here he held divine 
service for the members of the congregation who remained faithful 

* Kath. Volkzeitung, Balto., 5 June, 1869. 


to their lawful pastor. The schismatic body led by the Trustees 
went still further in their insubordination. On 16 November, 
Father Goetz was appointed by the Trustees as pastor and placed 
in charge of the church. Bishop Carroll threatened the priest with 
suspension if he attempted to act under the appointment of the 
Trustees. Goetz persevered and persisted in his evil course, and 
his faculties were then withdrawn by the Bishop. On the seventh 
anniversary of the opening of the church, 20 November, 1 796, the 
usurping pastor preached to a congregation of malcontents a sermon 
on "The Sanctity of Christian Temples." 

During these scandalous months the Vicar-General and Co- 
adjutor Bishop-elect of the Diocese, the Rev. Leonard Neale, had 
been powerless to bring about peace. His authority and intervention 
had been resented by the Trustees of Holy Trinity, who found 
themselves reinforced by a second priest, the Rev. William Elling. 
As Father Elling played a most important part in the affairs of 
Holy Trinity afterwards, it will be interesting to note something 
of the character of the man, as seen in his letters to Bishop Carroll. 
In 1791 Father Elling had been in charge at Lancaster, but 
wrote Bishop Carroll asking to be transferred, complaining that 
"the people did very little for their priest and the church and the 
priest's house were very much out of repair." Yet when it was 
suggested by the Bishop that he could remove to Philadelphia and 
relieve Father Graessl from some of the heavy mission work, he 
wrote, 8 December, 1791 : "I must plainly tell you that upon no 
condition I could like it there (Philadelphia) and live in the priest's 
house so much exposed in the morning and afternoon to the sun, 
so that there is no shelter." On 28 December, he wrote that his 
health was poor, and if it so continued he could not remain. He 
desired that he be allowed to select for himself the next mission he 
might go to. Later he wrote that he would like to go to Charleston, 
as it was "favorable to his complexion." When Bishop Carroll 
objected to his leaving Lancaster, he wrote in April, 1 792, that 
he would remain, though he thought it "a human impossibility, 
unless he improved." In that year the Bishop yielded to his im- 
portunities and he was transferred to Goshenhoppen, but in less 


than a year he was sent to New York, 16 May, 1 793. He wrote 
Bishop Carroll from New York that if he continued there he would 
be under the necessity of hiring a room and living by himself, "as 
to continue in Mr. O'Brien's house he would not for any price 
or salary," and added that he would have been better in Lancaster, 
as the air of New York did not agree with him. He stated too 
that he had sent word to Philadelphia not to forward his trunks. 
From New York Father Elling went to Reading and to him 
the schismatic Goetz applied for the Holy Oils, rituals, missals, etc., 
which were needed at Holy Trinity, as Father Heilbron had re- 
moved all these when he was obliged to leave by the schismatics. 
All things needed were supplied by Father Elling, and as he had 
grown restless at Reading he came himself, 1 November, 1 796, 
to Philadelphia and offered his services to the schismatic Trustees 
and Fr. Goetz. 3 When he was informed that the Trustees could 
not employ two priests, he offered his services to teach school and 
to officiate voluntarily in the church without compensation, and as 
a further reason he urged that in case of Goetz's disability he could 
take his place. This proposition was received favorably by the 
schismatic pastor and Trustees who no doubt were glad to receive 
the reinforcement of another priest. Accordingly it was agreed to 
open a school. Father Goetz offered to advance $400 and re- 
linquish his salary for one year, if Mr. Oellers, the Secretary of 
the Trustees, would advance the balance. This was done and the 
school was opened in the basement under Fathers Goetz and Elling 
and Mr. Oellers. It was planned by the Trustees that fifty pupils 
could be secured at fifty dollars each, which would make the school 
a paying investment, as the one item of expense would be an English 
teacher at $100 a year. Mr. Oellers's two sons, who had been 
attending Georgetown College, remained at home to become pupils 
of the new school, which, however, failed of its bright promise. 
Goetz and Elling disagreed, and the former went about advising 
parents not to send their children to the school. When his first 
quarter's salary was due, Goetz demanded the money in spite of 

* Letters of Trustees to Bishop Carroll, 8 Sept., 1806. 


his previous generous offer, and the result was that all the expense 
fell on James Oellers, the Secretary of the Trustees. 

The schism still held in the parish of Holy Trinity, the sus- 
pended priests officiating and the people supporting them. At 
length, finding it vain to hope for peace through negotiations with 
the Trustees and the priests, on 22 February, 1 797, Bishop Carroll 
addressed a Pastoral Letter "To my Beloved Brethren of the 
Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia," in which with the 
love of a father for his erring children he exhorted a return to 
unity and in clearest words explained the doctrine and discipline 
of the Church and the duties of her faithful children in obeying 
authority. The prelate's kind words went unheeded by these mis- 
guided people, who continued in their disobedience under their 
wicked leaders, and Bishop Carroll therefore proceeded to extreme 
measures. Through the Vicar General, Father Neale, the two 
priests were publicly excommunicated about the end of February, 

As usual in such unlawful movements the schismatics became 
disrupted and fought among themselves, under the divided leader- 
ship of Goetz and Elling. The latter acquired the more influential 
following, and Goetz, seeing himself defeated, resigned his position 
as pastor, 1 2 June, 1 797 ; but the Trustees wished to exercise their 
power, and accordingly they formally deposed him 12 August. 
Father Elling performed the duties of pastor to the schismatics, 
and the church records show a baptism by him on 9 July, but it 
was not until 12 November, 1797, that he was elected pastor by 
the Trustees. These worthies now made common cause with the 
excommunicated priest Reuter, of Baltimore, who with some Ger- 
mans of that city had set up a schismatic church there. The small 
number of that nationality in Baltimore and the disasters that at- 
tended the national division in Philadelphia had caused Bishop 
Carroll to refuse permission to erect a German church in Balti- 
more. The event justified the Bishop's course, for when the Balti- 
more schismatics had erected a church and named the excommuni- 
cated Reuter as pastor, they were unable to maintain the church 
and priest. 


The Philadelphia schism that was such a scandal had lasted 
more than a year, and Bishop Carroll, who had suffered much 
by it, came to Philadelphia in the hope that he might personally 
be able to settle the matter. His hope was vain. He had scarcely 
arrived before he was served with a writ and brought into court. 
At the hearing that followed, the schismatics' lawyer denied in 
most insulting words that Bishop Carroll had jurisdiction over Holy 
Trinity, and maintained that he was Bishop only of the other na- 
tionalities. In a letter addressed to the Cardinal Prefect of the 
Propaganda Bishop Carroll said: 

I solemnly aver that those who excite these troubles maintained in my 
presence by their lawyers in a public tribunal, and upheld with all their might, 
that all distinction between order and jurisdiction was arbitrary and fictitious; 
that all right to exercise ecclesiastical ministry was derived from the people; 
and that the Bishop had no power excepting to impose hands on the person 
whom the people presented as their chosen minister; or to inquire whether 
hands had been previously imposed on him. Then they deny that they are 
or ever have been subject to my episcopal authority; and when the words 
of the Pope's brief were shown them, in which all the faithful in the United 
States are subject to the Bishop, they impudently dared to assail the brief 
as imposing a yoke on them contrary to the American laws. And yet these 
are the men who are now sending an agent to the Holy See to obtain what 
had never before been granted. 

The agent mentioned by Bishop Carroll was the Rev. Fr. 
Reuter of Baltimore. He was the emissary sent in the interests 
of the schismatics of Philadelphia and Baltimore with a petition 
for the erection of a German diocese and the appointment of a 
bishop for the people speaking that language in the United States. 
To such lengths had these misguided men gone in their obstinacy that 
when foiled in their attempt to coerce Bishop Carroll into yielding to 
their demands, and when their wicked schemes gave signs of disrup- 
tion because of their internal dissension, they would not acknowledge 
defeat until they had made the last effort to have a bishop of their 
own choosing. Bishop Carroll was steadfast in his position, which 
he declared to Thomas FitzSimons when the latter endeavored to 
bring about an amicable settlement. 


A restoration of harmony could only be secured by an acknowledgment by 
the contumacious Trustees of the right of the Bishop to appoint pastors. 

A deeper principle than the mere appointing of a pastor to 
Holy Trinity was involved, viz., the principle of authority; and 
any weakness on the part of Bishop Carroll, any compromise would 
have meant anarchy in the growing Church of the United States. 
Not even to save further scandal and bring to a close the disgraceful 
condition in Philadelphia could this principle be sacrificed. The 
Trustees on their side were determined not to recognize Bishop 
Carroll's authority, and thus the eighteenth century closed with a 
cloud over the fair face of the Church in Philadelphia, one of her 
parishes in rebellion against lawful authority. 

In 1 799, as there seemed to be no hope of his securing his 
rightful position of pastor at Holy Trinity, Father Heilbron was 
appointed to succeed the schismatic Fromm at Sportsman's Hall, 
Pa., nine miles from Greensburg, the name of which he changed 
to Clear Spring where is now the present large Benedictine Abbey, 
Westmoreland, Pa. In that fertile field he devoted himself until 
his death in 1816, with the saintly Father Gallitzin, to the spread 
of Religion. 

The Trustees of Holy Trinity still maintained their rebellion 
against Bishop Carroll, but their supporters were dwindling away 
or growing lax in their allegiance, for men who had rebelled against 
authority are not apt to be submissive to the usurper. The better- 
minded among the people had grown weary of their anomalous 
position of a Catholic congregation cut off from the Catholic 
Church and banned by their fellow Catholics. No doubt the 
hopelessness of securing their unreasonable demands for in- 
dependence had much to do with bringing the schism to a 
close. At any rate negotiations were entered into to bring about 
the restoration of the congregation to Catholic unity. The sub- 
mission to Bishop Carroll involved, of course, confession by the 
congregation of their guilt in persisting in a rebellious attitude, and 
acknowledgment by the priest that his ministry exercised when sus- 


pended by his Bishop had been unlawful. Father Elling demurred 
against the humiliation imposed, and Bishop Carroll wrote to him, 
as follows: 

Recollect, I beseech you, the doctrine you imbibed, the principles you 
brought from Rome, and you must admit this as a necessary condition, with 
which it exceeds my power to dispense. This duty may be performed as 
privately as possible, but it must be performed. It becomes you in a special 
manner to encourage it; and I trust in God that your doing it, will be 
accepted by Almighty God, as a satisfaction for every irregularity heretofore 
committed. The sooner you do it the greater will be the benefit to those 
who rely on you. Consummate, my dear Sir, the sacrifice you owe to God, 
set example to His Church and especially to the flock, which is to be com- 
mitted to your charge. Every day of delay increases the difficulty and mul- 
tiplies offenses. Dishonor springs from perseverance in a wrong course, and 
not from a retraction of error or misconduct. Your own conscience is involved 
as well as that of others, and you must surely wish ardently for the moment 
of restoring tranquility to your mind. How joyfully will I meet you when this 
is done, and with how much pleasure will we discourse, at your intended 
visit, in your proposal for the extension of the true faith. 

These kind words of the Bishop prevailed. Father Elling 
agreed to abjure his error, make public reparation, and do all in 
his power to right the wrongs to religion that he had participated in. 
In his abjuration, made 28 January, 1802, he promised canonical 
obedience to Bishop Carroll and his successors, holding himself 
subject to his authority and jurisdiction in such manner that he could 
not lawfully exercise any pastoral function or administer the sacra- 
ments without his express license, or after said license should be 
duly revoked. He likewise promised privately, but efficaciously, 
to admonish the faithful that such license from the Bishop is indis- 
pensably necessary to authorize any priest to administer the Sacra- 
ment of Penance. 4 

The Trustees likewise yielded, and James Oellers personally 
secured the signatures of the other Trustees to the following docu- 

We, the Trustees of the German Religious Society of Roman Catholics 
of the Holy Trinity in the city of Philadelphia, Do hereby acknowledge 

Baltimore Archives. 


for ourselves, and our constituents, members worshipping in the said church, 
that we hold ourselves subject to the Episcopal Authority and jurisdiction 
of the Bishop of Baltimore for the time being, and according to the tenor of 
the Brief of his Holiness of pious memory, Pius Sixth, for the erection of the 
Episcopal See of Baltimore, and we promise to yield true obedience to the 
said Bishop conformably to the powers lawfully vested in him. 

In witness whereof, the said Trustees of the German Religious Society 
of Roman Catholics of the Holy Trinity Church, in the city of Philadelphia 
have set their hands and caused the seal of their Corporation to be affixed 
this 29th day of January A. D. 1802. 

James Oellers, Georgius Waldmor, 

Adam Premir, Mathias Knebel, 

Charles Bauman, Johan Conrad. 

Balthazar X. Kneil, 

The submission of Pastor and Trustees having been made 
in due form to the then Vicar General, the Rev. Mathew Carr, 
O. S. A., the documents were sent to Bishop Carroll. Father Carr, 
as representative of the Bishop, removed the censure from Father 
Elling and reconciled the church in company with the latter and 
two of the Trustees, Oellers and Premir. Father Elling was then 
appointed Pastor of Holy Trinity by Bishop Carroll, and peace 
once more reigned at Holy Trinity. Thus ended this unhappy 
schism, as all such must, in the triumph of the Church's lawful au- 
thority and the humiliating defeat of all who oppose it. 

Although the schism thus happily ended had wrought spiritual 
harm to those concerned and given scandal to all the community, 
yet, confined as it was to the malcontents, it did not interfere with 
the progress of religion in the city. In the meantime spiritual equi- 
librium was maintained by the establishment of a new church. 

The population of Philadelphia before 1 793 numbered fifty 
thousand souls. A large number of houses had been built south 
of the city line of South Street, in the District of Southwark, which 
numbered nearly 6,000 persons; while north of Vine Street, the 
northern limit of the city, were about 9,000 persons, in the District 
of Northern Liberties. The distance to St. Mary's for the Catho- 
lics living north of the city made the long journey in the winter's 
cold and summer's heat either very difficult or impossible, so that 


many could not attend Mass. The necessity of another church 
in this northern section was therefore very evident. The fever of 
1 793 and its awful results had postponed the undertaking of the 
project, but when those who had fled the city returned to their 
homes, and trade had once more been resumed, an increased im- 
migration soon more than made up for the fatalities of the epidemic. 
The design for a church north of the city to provide for the spiritual 
needs of the residents there was now undertaken. 

The Irish Augustinians had sought and obtained permission 
from Bishop Carroll to come to his diocese, and Father Rosseter, 
O. S. A., had already arrived and was stationed near Wilmington, 
Delaware. In the spring of 1 795 the Rev. Matthew Carr, O. S. A., 
arrived from St. Augustine's Convent, John Street, Dublin, to found 
a house of his Order in this country. At first it was contemplated 
to erect the house at Wilmington, and offers of a site and means 
to build a church there were received, but the needs of Philadelphia 
made this city a more favorable location. 

Father Carr had taken up his residence with Father Neale 
at the priest's house in Willing's Alley and from there sent out the 
following appeal : 

Address to the Inhabitants of Philadelphia. 
The most avowed enemies of Christianity, have been compelled by 
imperious truth, to acknowledge that the general happiness of mankind has 
marked its progress. Before the establishment of this divine system of gen- 
eral improvement, the world was ignorant both of genuine liberty and universal 
philanthropy. Subduing the universe to the dominion of Christ; it proclaimed 
freedom to man, by assuring him that he had but one Sovereign Lord in 
Heaven. By disseminating the maxims of Christianity and diffusing its spirit, 
mankind were taught to consider themselves brethren. Thus, were the tyrant 
and egotist equally proscribed. The proof of these observations, rests on 
the notorious fact, that where Christianity prevails not, or has been abolished, 
in that hapless territory, reigns the crudest despotism, or wildest anarchy. 
Impressed with these sentiments, the Right Reverend Doctor Carroll, Bishop 
of Baltimore, has ever made it his dearest concern, to encourage and intro- 
duce into America, zealous missionaries from every quarter. Induced by the 
auspicious name Philadelphia, as also by the religious propensities of its in- 
habitants, towards the faith, and morality of Christ; he has recommended to 
the Reverend Mr. Carr, Superior of the Augustinian Order in Dublin, to 


settle in this city. In consequence whereof, this gentleman offers to their 
service, himself, and other men of zeal and abilities; who only wait the 
tidings of his reception, to join him. The very great increase of inhabitants, 
and the grievous inconveniences, under which numbers of them labor, in 
attending the duties of religion, render necessary the establishment of Another 
Place of Worship. Many already have cheerfully offered their liberal con- 
tributions; and more it is hoped will follow their example. Whereof, a sub- 
scription will be opened immediately, for erecting A Church in any part of 
this City, deemed most eligible. As a friend to the noble object of the wel- 
fare of mankind, you will be respectfully waited on in a few days for your 

Willing's Alley, 20 May, 1 796. 5 

There were two hundred and forty-four contributors to this 
appeal, and the amount received was $8679.02. Among the con- 
tributors to the erection of St. Augustine's Church, Philadelphia, 
were President Washington, $50; Thomas FitzSimons, $500; Pat- 
rick Madden, $500 (besides printing) ; James Ryan (who ob- 
tained the contribution from President Washington), $200; James 
Gallagher, $200; Mrs. Catharine Eck, $190; Commodore John 
Barry, $150; Peter Gill, $100; Joseph Viar, Spanish Consul, 
$100; John Lalor, $60; Matthew Carey, $50; George Meade, 
grandfather of General George Gordon Meade; Jasper and John 
Moylan, commercial agents of the United States at L'Orient, 
France, during the Revolution, and brothers of General Stephen 
Moylan, $50 each; Stephen Girard, $40; Dennis Lalor, $30; 
Jared Ingersoll, Attorney General of Pennsylvania, $30; Capt. 
Roger Kean, of the Privateer Navy of Revolution, $30 ; Col. Fran- 
cis Johnston, of the Revolution, $30 ; the Count de Noailles, brother- 
in-law of Lafayette, $20; Dunn, a member of the Irish House 
of Parliament, $20; Captain John Barry, $20; Captain Patrick 
Hayes, nephew of Commodore Barry, $20; Captain John Inskeep, 
of the Revolutionary Army and Mayor of Philadelphia in 1800, 
and later President of the Insurance Company of North America, 
$20; Michael Morgan O'Brien, afterwards Consul at Paris, $20; 
Captain Faulkner, $10; Captain Hoare, $10; Captain O'Con- 
nor, $10. 

8 From Correspondence of Matthew Carey, Book No. 21, No. Letter 5302. 


Encouraged by this liberal response to his appeal Father Carr, 
on 1 1 June, 1 796, purchased from Jonathan Meredith and wife 
for an annual ground rent of 340 Spanish milled dollars, a plot 
of ground eighty-five feet front and one hundred and seventy- 
five feet in depth, on Fourth Street below Vine Street, run- 
ning back to Crown Street (so-called from its being the crest 
of the highest point in the city proper). The advantage of this 
site lay in the fact that, while within the city limits, it was near 
the northern quarter where the church was needed. Building op- 
erations were begun at once, and on the first Sunday of September, 
the Feast of Our Lady of Consolation, was laid the corner-stone 
of the new church to be called St. Augustine's. On 7 July, 1 797, 
a lot 20 x 100 feet, north of the church lot, was purchased for 
burial-ground, from Frederick Vogel, for $106.75. 

On May 27, 1 797, an indult was granted at Rome, giving to 
Father Carr the necessary authority to establish convents of his Order 
in the diocese of Baltimore, subject to the approbation of Bishop 
Carroll. The Augustinian Community was accordingly erected 
into a Province under the title of "The Blessed Virgin of Good 
Counsel," and Father Carr was named Vicar-General of the Prov- 
ince and Superior of the Missions. Father Carr had been joined 
by Father Rosseter, O. S. A., and these resided at St. Mary's 
priest's-house, in Willing's Alley, with Father Neale and Father 
Ennis, during the slow progress of erecting the new church. 

The church collections and pew rents of St. Mary's during 
1797 amounted to $1267, and this with the rents of houses on 
Walnut Street made the income about $2000. During the year 
the collections for support of the free school gave £7] 7s. in June, 
and £, 70 1 8s. 9d. in November. James Reagan this year resigned 
the mastership of the school, and the position was given to Terence 
Byrne. Peter Gill, who had given $100 to the new church of St. 
Augustine, died in December, 1 797, and by his will one-half of 
the rent of his house and lot at "Camptown" (Kensington) was 
to go to St. Mary's free school, and the other half for religious pur- 
poses; and after thirty years the property was directed to be sold. 


On 8 April, 1 798, Dr. Carr received into the Church Miss 
Sally McKean, aged 18, daughter of the then Governor of Penn- 
sylvania. Two days later she was married, by Dr. Carr, to Mar- 
quis Yrujo, the Spanish Ambassador. 

During this year, 1 798, in which, as has been seen, the yellow 
fever raged in the city, the school collection amounted to £49 12s., 
of which Father Neale contributed £7 10s., and Terence Byrne, 
who had resigned his place as schoolmaster, gave £27 10s. A 
charity sermon was therefore given to cover the school expenses. 

While the business of the church thus progressed and the 
new building was being erected at Fourth and Vine Streets, and 
the city was living in terror of the dreadful fever that had again 
and again wrought such havoc, the Government was endeavoring 
to cope with the complicated political situation caused by the very 
large number of foreigners who had immigrated to this country, 
after the adoption of the Constitution. They were for the most 

Frenchmen, driven into exile by political troubles at home, or Englishmen, 
Scotchmen and Irishmen who had espoused ultra-republican principles, and 
who flying from the severe measures of repression adopted against them at 
home, brought to America a fierce hatred of the government of Great Britain, 
and a warm admiration of republican France. Among these were men of 
pure lives and noble aims, but many were desperate political intriguers ready 
to engage in any scheme of mischief. • 

About 30,000 French refugees had organized clubs in this country, 
in 1 798, and bound to these in sympathy were about 50,000 late sub- 
jects of Great Britain. The Federalist's Party, which numbered 
conservative men, like Washington, Hamilton, Jay, and Adams, 
was opposed to any entangling foreign alliance and looked askance 
on their opponents' advocacy of the loose French Republican ideas. 
Adams had been elected President in 1 796, and he and his party 
in 1 798, when war with France seemed inevitable, secured the 
passing by Congress of Acts for security against the internal foes, 
as they regarded the refugees. 

* Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History. Alien and Sedition Laws. 


The first of these Acts was passed 1 8 June, 1 798, by which the natu- 
ralization laws were made more stringent and alien enemies could not become 
citizens. By a second Act (25 June) which was limited to two years the 
President was authorized to order out of the country all aliens whom he 
might judge to be dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States. 
By a third Act (6 July) in case of war declared against the United States, 
in an actual invasion, all resident aliens, natives or citizens of the hostile 
nation, might, upon proclamation of the President, issued according to his 
discretion, be apprehended and secured or removed. These were known as 
the Alien Laws. 7 

The President never had occasion to put these laws in force, 
but several prominent Frenchmen, who felt that the laws were 
aimed at them, left the United States. The Sedition Act was 
passed 1 4 July, 1 798, and made it a high misdemeanor, punishable 
by fine and imprisonment 

for any person unlawfully to combine in opposing measures of the govern- 
ment or attempt to prevent government officials executing their trusts, or to 
incite to riot and insurrection. 

These laws were assailed with great vigor by the opposition, and were 
deplored by the best friends of the Administration. Nothing contributed 
more to the Federalists' defeat two years later than these extreme measures. 8 

In that election Adams was defeated for the Presidency by Jef- 

Among those who opposed these measures was the strong 
party sympathizers with the United Ireland movement then form- 
ing in Ireland, and who looked on these Acts as having been passed 
in the interest of England. In Philadelphia the Irish sympathizers 
were very numerous, many of them themselves Irish patriots who 
had been forced to leave Ireland and who were actively engaged 
in promoting the movement in Ireland by American sympathy and 
funds. Hamilton Rowan and Wolfe Tone had arrived in Phila- 
delphia in 1 794 and had lived sometime in Wilmington with the 
famous Napper Tandy, who remained in America until 1 798. 
The sentiment against England and in favor of France, fostered 
by "The United Irishmen" and their adherents, was very strong. 
German citizens likewise were incensed against the Alien Acts. 

T Ibid. * Ibid. 


The discussion for and against the obnoxious Acts was waged 
in the newspapers and at the many meetings held by the Federalists 
and the Anti-Federalists. At length the opponents of the measures 
took definite steps to bring the matter before Congress and on 
Friday, 8 February, 1 799, great mass-meetings were held by the 
Germans and Irish. At both gatherings it was resolved to present 
petitions, requesting the repeal of the Acts, to Congress at the 
meeting of that body on the following Monday. As the time in 
which signatures to the petition could be secured was very short, 
it was decided to expedite matters by having committees appointed 
to secure signatures on Sunday at the Presbyterian and Catholic 
services, as a large number of these congregations came under the 
penalties of the Alien Acts. 

The committee appointed to secure the signatures were Dr. 
James Reynolds, a naturalized citizen; Robert Moore, a gentle- 
man of wealth, but not a citizen; William Duane, a native born 
and publisher of the Aurora; and Samuel Cummings, a young 
Irishman employed by Duane as a compositor. Some of the com- 
mittee went to the Presbyterian church, and Dr. Reynolds, Mr. 
Moore, and Mr. Cummings proceeded to St. Mary's before ten 
o'clock, 1 February, 1 799. Cummings posted the following 
notice on the wall of the church, beside the doors: 

Natives of Ireland who worship at this church are requested to remain 
in the churchyard after Divine Service until they have affixed their signatures 
to a memorial for the repeal of the Alien Bill. 

Although many natives of Ireland attended St. Mary's, all 
were not in favor of a repeal of the Alien Bill, nor were all in 
favor of the method employed to secure signatures to the repeal 
petition. When John O'Hara, one of the Trustees, was informed 
by John Brown of what had been done, O'Hara promptly tore 
down the notice. Other copies of it were put up during the Mass, 
but James Gallagher, Jr., discovering them, tore them down, de- 
claring that "no Jacobin paper had a right to a place on the wall 
of that church." Angry words followed between Gallagher and 
Cummings, and when Father Neale was appealed to he advised 
that Gallagher should inform the influential men present at Mass 


and ask them to interfere. The committee departed; but before 
Mass had ended, they returned and, having placed the petition on 
a flat tomb near the door of the church, sought signers among the 
congregation leaving the church. The result was a general conten- 
tion between the adherents of the two parties. The committee did 
not persist when they found objection to their using such a time 
and place for their purpose, and Mr. Moore left immediately, but 
the discussion among the others attracted a crowd "that for four 
hours filled the street from the house of the Mayor to that of the 
Chief Justice." Constables finally ended the disturbance and ar- 
rested James Gallagher, Cummings, Lewis Ryan, and Dr. Rey- 
nolds, who was accused of drawing on Gallagher a pistol, which 
was wrested from him by Ryan. 

The case was tried on 2 1 February. The Rev. Matthew Carr 
testified that it was customary in Ireland to hold public meetings and 
secure signatures to papers after church services. Father Neale 
testified that such posted notices were against his orders, and he 
"deemed the affixing of these notices to the church as an insult to 
him and the Board of Trustees, for according to the usage of the 
church no notice or advertisement should be put up without his 
positive consent." The jury rendered a verdict of "not guilty" as 
to inciting a riot, but Dr. Reynolds was convicted of assault and 
battery on James Gallagher. 9 

In the meanwhile the new church of St. Augustine was slowly 
approaching completion. The disastrous visitation of the yellow 
fever in 1 798 had claimed as one of its many victims the Rev. 
Michael Ennis, O. S. A., and this naturally interfered with the 
progress of work at the much-needed church. In order to secure 
the money necessary to finish the work the clergy resolved to avail 
themselves of the then common practice, and applied to the Legis- 
lature for permission to hold a Lottery. The petition was signed 
by the Rev. Leonard Neale, Vicar-General, and the Rev. Matthew 
Carr. On 4 April, 1 799, the House of Representatives passed "an 
act for raising by way of Lotteries a sum not exceeding $10,000 

* "A Report of the Extraordinary Transactions which took place at Phila- 
delphia in Feb. 1799, in consequence of a Memorial for Certain Natives of Ire- 
land to Congress Praying a Repeal of the Alien Bill." 


for the purpose of completing the Roman Catholic Church of St. 
Augustine's." Thomas FitzSimons, John Leamy, and Edward 
Carrell, were appointed Managers and entered bonds to the Com- 
monwealth for $100,000 "for the due and faithful performance 
of their duties in the management of said lottery." 

As this method of securing the necessary funds for church 
purposes must appear unusual in view of our legislation against 
lotteries, it is well to explain that a lottery was the common method 
employed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The news- 
papers of those days have frequent advertisements of lotteries for 
public and private benefit. As early as 1 720 Charles Read ad- 
vertised a lottery of his house. In Watson s Annals there are no- 
tices of the following publicly advertised lotteries : In 1 748 for 
public improvements ; in 1 752 for Christ Church steeple ; in 1 753 
for the New Presbyterian Church at Third and Arch Streets; in 
1 754 for the City Academy ; in 1 760 for St. Paul's Church ; in 
1 761 to pave the streets (North Second Street was paved thereby) ; 
in 1 768 to raise $5250 for the same purpose. In 1 765 the As- 
sembly granted lotteries to several Episcopal churches and in 1 766 
a lottery was advertised to finish St. Peter's and St. Paul's churches. 

The lottery petitioned for by the priests of St. Augustine's and 
granted by the Act of Legislature was in accordance with the 
common custom, and the method pursued was the usual form. 
The Scheme of the Lottery, as set forth in the advertisements, 
divided the prizes, amounting to $78,000, into two classes, the high- 
est prizes being $4,000 and $8,000; and the lowest $8 and $10. 
Tickets for the first class sold at $6 and for the second class at 
$8, and were to be purchased "of the commissioners, of the Rev. 
Clergy of St. Mary's, of Messrs. Young, Rice, and Carey, book- 
sellers, and of several other respectable persons in the city." Prizes 
were to be paid thirty days after the drawing closed, subject to a 
deduction of fifteen per cent. A number of causes, however, com- 
pelled several postponements of the drawings and prevented the 
success of the Lottery. 

The dreaded yellow fever broke out again, and amongst itf 
victims was the Rev. John Burke, one of the priests of St. Mary's. 


Father Burke had come from Cork at the invitation of Bishop 
Carroll in 1 797. He had studied in Paris, where he had taken 
his degrees, and where from 1 780-92 he had been Superior of the 
Irish College. After the French Revolution he returned to Ire- 
land, and from Cork he wrote to Bishop Carroll offering his serv- 
ices as a missionary. He was accepted and accordingly in 1 797 
arrived in Philadelphia and was appointed to St. Mary's. He 
contracted the fever while attending his duties and thus died a 
martyr in his forty-third year, on 1 7 September, 1 799. 

Toward the end of the year of 1 799 the Rev. Father Neale, 
pastor of St. Mary's and Co-adjutor Bishop-elect of Baltimore, 
was appointed to the Presidency of Georgetown College and left 
Philadelphia for his post. During the trying years of his pastorate 
Father Neale had acquitted himself most admirably. In the re- 
curring epidemics he had performed his duty to the plague victims 
with priestly heroism, and was fortunately preserved from the 
contagion. In the troublous affairs of Holy Trinity Church he had 
acted as Vicar General with prudence and wisdom. His learning 
and exceptional ability, however, particularly fitted him for his 
appointment as President of the flourishing college, and he was 
the one available man for the position. The needs of St. Mary's 
were amply provided for by Father Carr and his assistants. 

With the departure of Father Neale from St. Mary's was 
interrupted the succession of the Jesuits, going back to Father 
Greaton, the founder of the Faith in Philadelphia, and maintained 
by the Fathers of the Society after the Suppression in 1 773. In 
accordance with the agreement made at White Marsh the prop- 
erty held by the Jesuits in 1 773 was willed by each pastor to his 
successor and accordingly the title of St. Joseph's never left the 
possession of the priests of the Society of Jesus, even when the title 
to St. Mary's was transferred to Bishop Conwell by the Rev. 
Francis Neale, the Jesuit in whose name it was held in 1825. 

Besides his more than ordinary intellectual ability, Father 
Neale was a man of the highest spiritual attainments, and it had 
been his intention to found in Philadelphia a religious community. 
Miss Alice Lalor, a young woman from Queens County, Ireland, 


had settled in Philadelphia in 1798, and with two companions 
opened an academy for girls. This group of pious ladies secured 
the providential beginning of Father Neale's design, but during the 
plague two of the number died of the fever. After Father Neale's 
departure Miss Lalor and two others who shared her high ambition 
removed to Georgetown, and there after many vicissitudes they at 
length founded a Convent of the Visitation Order. 

An event that plunged the whole nation in sorrow was the 
death of George Washington, the Father of his Country and first 
President of the United States, at his home, Mount Vernon, 14 
December, 1 799. The bitterness and ingratitude that had been 
shown him by his political enemies were almost effaced by the sin- 
cere grief of the people at the death of their great champion. That 
the memorial services might be as a great united sorrow, Congress 
appointed the anniversary of Washington's birth, 22 February, 
1800, as the day for "general commemoration throughout all the 
land, of his character and services to the country." The Governors 
of the States each sent forth a proclamation setting forth the mes- 
sage of Congress and the cities vied with one another in arranging 
for appropriate services. Bishop Carroll had always held George 
Washington in highest esteem and in a letter to Archbishop Troy 
he wrote of "the firmness, the undaunted courage, the personal 
influence and consummate prudence of that wonderful man, our 
President Washington." The prelate was greatly moved at his 
death and under date of 29 December, 1 799, he sent to all the 
clergy a pastoral letter, in which he recommended and directed that 
his Reverend brethren give notice to their congregations to observe 
22 February, 1800, 

with a reverence expressive of their veneration for the deceased Father of 
his country and founder of its Independence, to beseech Almighty God 
to inspire those who are, or hereafter may be, invested with authority to 
pursue his wise, firm and peaceful maxims of government and preserve in 
us the enjoyment of those public blessings, for which, next to the merciful 
dispensations of Providence, we are chiefly indebted to his unwearied perse- 
verance, temperate valor, exemplary disinterestedness and consummate pru- 

The Bishop then directs that the Blessed Sacrament be removed 


from the church during the service and advises that the discourse 
to be preached on that occasion 

be not on the model of a funeral sermon, deduced from a text of Scripture, 
but rather as an oration, such as might be delivered in an Academy, and on a 
plan bearing some resemblance to that of St. Ambrose on the death of the 
young emperor Valentinian who was deprived of life before his initiation into 
the Church, but who had discovered in his early age the germ of those extra- 
ordinary qualities which expanded themselves in Washington and flourished 
with so much lustre during a life of unremitting exertions and eminent usefulness. 

Philadelphia as the leading city of the United States and the 
seat of government made preparations fittingly to observe the me- 
morial service on 22 February, 1800. St. Mary's Church was 
selected for the Catholic service and arrangements were made in 
keeping with its reputation as the richest and most populous parish 
of the country. The United States Senate resolved to meet in the 
Senate Chamber and walk to the Zion Lutheran Church on Race 
Street to attend the services there. The House of Representatives, 
however, decided that, 

a? it might be the wish of several members to attend the oration at the Catholic 
Church in preference to the one in Race St, members ought to be left to their 
own option. 

It is probable that a large number of the eighty-three repre- 
sentatives attended St. Mary's, as Father Carr had a great reputa- 
tion as an orator. The only records of the Catholic celebration 
extant are the Expense Accounts, and from these it is seen that the 
service of St. Mary's was very elaborate. $ 1 62.00 were collected 
as a subscription, and of this $62.00 were paid for music and 
$40.00 for the singers. £25 19s. 4%d. were paid for Bombazet 
and £2 5s. for Crepe Gauze. There was a funeral Urn, and 
Eleanor Byrne was paid $10 "for making curtains and hangings," 
while T. Hurley received £4 1 0s. for "work done including Sew- 
ing Curtains and other work for fixing the church in mourning." 
C. S. LeBreton was paid $5 "for dining and dressing the Altar 
and all other trouble, and one Dollar for dining the snow out of 


the yeard"; "John Stowers, the constable, was paid seven shillings 
six pence [which equaled one dollar] for attendance at the chap- 
pell." The thrift of the Trustees is seen from the item that the 
145 yards of black stuff used in the draping was afterwards sold 
at Yorkes' Auction for $26.10. 

On 8 March, 1800, the drawing of the Lottery for St. Au- 
gustine's was begun, but owing to the many set backs that the 
business had received, only $6,000.00 were realized for the church 
from the fifteen per cent, deduction of the prizes. This failure 
was not altogether unforeseen. On 30 March, 1 799, Father 
Carr had written to Bishop Carroll: 

I fear to proceed in it [the lottery]. I foresee the great attention and 
laborious exertions it requires; nor can I hope for much assistance from any 
of the Managers. Unless we can sell a considerable portion of the tickets 
in the principal cities of the Union, it were folly to embark in the business. 

An application was sent accordingly to the Legislature by Dr. Carr, 
and permission obtained to hold a drawing to make the $4,000.00 
deficit of the amount allowed by the previous Act. Tickets were 
placed on sale and the minute books of the Trustees of St. Mary's 
show that in May, 1 800, fifty tickets were ordered to be purchased. 
This supplementary drawing was not held until 1803. On 20 July, 
1802, Father Carr wrote to Bishop Carroll: "I am thrown into 
a most distressing situation by the defaulters to the Lottery where 
it was least to be apprehended." 

Sufficient money was, however, received to enable Dr. Carr 
to proceed with the work at St. Augustine's and on 7 June, 1801, 
the new church was dedicated. No record is extant of the cere- 
mony with which the new church was opened for services. The 
building in its incomplete condition (for it lacked galleries and 
vestibule), was of noble dimensions, in Romanesque style, 62 feet 
front and 125 feet deep and 42 feet to the eaves. Matthew 
Carey's Traveler's Guide for 1802 describes it as "the largest 
church in Philadelphia." St. Augustine's was remarkable as the 
first church-building in the State without orientation. All other 
churches, Catholic and Protestant, had the chancel and altar at 
the eastern end of the church, and even when the building stood 


on the western side of the street, the orientation was kept and en- 
trance had from the western end. So Holy Trinity stands to-day, 
and St. Mary's Church was orientated until the altars were changed 
from east to west in 1 886. 

The architect and builder of St. Augustine's was Thomas Car- 
stairs, and the superintendent of the work Nicholas Fagan. Much 
of the building material was contributed by Captain John Walsh, 
Fagan's father-in-law, who had been a privateersman during the 
Revolution and afterwards established a lumber business. The 
edifice was completed by addition of the galleries and vestibule 
in 1824; the front of the church was completed in 1826, and in 
1829 the handsome cupola, 75 feet high, was added in which, in 
the year following, the clock and bell from Independence Hall 
were installed. 

Father Carr continued his residence at St. Mary's until 1 802, 
when he removed, with much regret, from Willing's Alley to a 
house near St. Augustine's, leaving in charge of St. Mary's and 
the Chapel of St. Joseph his fellow Augustinians, the Revs. John 
Rosseter, Raphael FitzPatrick, and Michael Lacy, who had suc- 
ceeded the Rev. George Staunton, O. S. A., and the Rev. Philip 
Stafford. Father FitzPatrick afterwards assisted at St. Augustine's, 
where he died 25 March, 1803. His funeral was held at St. 
Augustine's and the burial made at St. Mary's. 

The Trustees of St. Mary's had petitioned Bishop Carroll, 
1 September, 1801, for a separate and permanent pastor "of suit- 
able abilities and a good preacher," but it was not until after 12 
April, 1803, when the Rev. Michael Egan, O. S. F., was elected 
pastor of St. Mary's, that separate parish boundaries were estab- 
lished for the two churches. Market Street was made the division 
line, all north of which was St. Augustine's, and all south St. 
Mary's. The territory of the two parishes was not confined to 
the limits of Philadelphia, for the records show that marriages 
and baptisms were administered at Germantown, Bustleton, Frank- 
ford, Darby, Norristown, Cobb's Creek, Belair (Villa Nova), 
and in New Jersey at Lamberton, Burlington, and Trenton, and 
in Delaware at Wilmington. 

Lottery for Holy Trinity Church. — Father Elling 
Leaves Holy Trinity. — Father Adam Britt, S. J. — 
Father Anthony Kohlman, S. J. — Rehabilitation 
of the Jesuits in America. — Charter Granted to 
St. Augustine's. — Some Baptisms and Marriage Rec- 
ords of St. Augustine's. — St. Mary's Under Father 
Egan, O. S. F. — The Yellow Fever. — The Free 
School. — The Choir. — St. Mary's Cemetery, Thir- 
teenth and Spruce Streets. 

I HEN peace had been restored with the authorities, 
the pastor, Father Elling, and the Trustees of 
Holy Trinity found the treasury of the church 
sorely depleted by the six years of schism. The 
expenses of the rebellion and the contributions 
to the Roman agent who had failed in his mis- 
sion so signally, had severely taxed their resources. Moreover, 
the whole congregation was by no means involved in the schism, 
and the loss of the contributions of those who would have no part 
in the actions of the Trustees, and who became pew-holders in the 
new St. Augustine's, made the deficit all the greater. The conditions 
demanded some special effort, and accordingly a lottery was ar- 
ranged for and by the Act of the Legislature of 25 March, 1803, 
permission was granted to hold a lottery for $10,000 to support 
the school, then being held in the church basement, to pay debts 
and to build a new parochial residence and school. Part of the 
debt, no doubt, was contracted by the purchase, 4 January, 1803, 
of a lot 26 x 287 feet on the east side of Fifth Street, next to 
St. Mary's graveyard. This was the German part of the grave- 
yard purchased in 1 768, and now transferred by Joseph Boehm 
and George Lechler, the two survivors of the original deed, to the 
Trustees of Holy Trinity. 


The commissioners of the lottery were Adam Premir, 136 
S. Sixth Street, Charles Bauman, 16 Budd Street, and Anthony 
Hookey, corner of Third and Green Streets, who afterwards, 23 
December, 1820, became father-in-law of Anthony Drexel, the 
founder of the Drexel family, by the marriage at St. Mary's of 
Mr. Drexel and Miss Hookey. The first drawing took place on 
Monday, 26 November, 1804, the mayor of the city putting the 
high prizes in the wheel, and the highest prize drawn was $200. 
At the next drawing $50 was the highest, and at the third drawing 
$100 was the largest sum won. The lottery was not a success, as 
not enough was realized for the planned school and priests* house. 

Father Elling continued to act as pastor of Holy Trinity until 
failing health compelled him to resign the office. His last record 
in the baptismal register is dated 23 February, 1806, but it was 
not until 25 October of that year that he resigned. During this 
time services were supplied by visiting priests, secured by the 

The cause of Father Elling's delay in giving up a position 
for the duties of which he was no longer physically equal was the 
difficulty in arranging money matters with the Trustees. By an 
agreement signed in 1801, Father Elling was to receive $200 a 
year as pension, if he became invalided, or $800 in a lump sum. 
But if he ever left Holy Trinity of his own will, the contract be- 
came null and void. For eight months the Secretary of the Trus- 
tees endeavored to anger or wear the priest out by quibblings and 
tricks, so that he would resign and thus the contract would be 
broken. Elling remained firm, and finally, in October, the Trustees 
passed a resolution ordering the payment of the $800 pension, in 
accordance with the 1801 contract. In the meantime both Father 
Elling and the Secretary of the Trustees, James Oellers, deluged 
Bishop Carroll with letters that retailed in tiresome detail all the 
minutiae of the controversy, each side begging and protesting, 
bullying and whining. With the supernatural patience and tact 
that characterized Bishop Carroll he advised and arranged so that 
at length Father Elling received the pension and resigned the charge 
to Father Adam Britt, S. J., who arrived in Philadelphia, 27 


September, 1 806, the journey from Baltimore by boat having taken 
him two days. 

Elling was evidently one of those unhappy, restless beings 
who make life a worry for themselves and all about them, and 
who are so unhappy when free from real trouble that they invent 
imaginary ones. Before leaving Philadelphia Father Elling made 
a purchase of land in Providence township, Bedford County, Pa., 
where he might rest and gain his health, and spend the remainder 
of his life. From there he wrote to Bishop Carroll, 1 1 March, 
1807, but on 29 November, 1809, he wrote from Philadelphia that 
it was impossible for him to stay any longer in Philadelphia, and 
that he was on the eve of departure for New Orleans where he 
intended to buy a small property. He did not remain there long, 
however, but returned to Philadelphia, made his residence at 73 
South Fourth Street, and here, 2 April, 181 1 , in his 63 rd year, his 
restless soul passed into eternal rest. 

With the election of Father Adam Britt, as rector, the his- 
tory of Holy Trinity takes on a new color. The schism had ended 
apparently with the submission of Father Elling and the Trustees 
in 1802, but religion had suffered too much to recuperate at once, 
and during the following years of Father Elling's pastorate little 
progress was made materially or spiritually by the congregation. 
On Father Britt's assuming charge he found sad results of the un- 
happy rebellion, and a general condition of affairs that required 
all his ability to cope with. In his letters to Bishop Carroll he 
states that in his visits to the parishioners he found many who had 
not been to church for several years, and "I found the catechism 
wholly neglected," he adds. He was handicapped, however, by 
his ignorance of English, for he spoke only German and French, 
and therefore he asks in a letter, dated 1 7 February, 1 807, that 
Bishop Carroll send an assistant who could hear confessions and 
instruct the very large number who could not speak German. 

In answer to Father Britt's statements of the urgent need of 
an English-speaking priest who would help heal the wounds of 
Holy Trinity parish, the Rev. C. Kohlman was sent there to give a 
mission. Father Kohlman was a Jesuit and had recently arrived 


from Russia to take the Chair of Philosophy at Georgetown Col- 
lege. He had lived for some time in London and so was familiar 
with English. Father Kohlman arrived in Philadelphia in April 
of 1807, and so impressed was he with the sad spiritual condition 
which he found at Holy Trinity that he wrote Bishop Carroll: 
"Truly with desolation has this congregation been made desolate, 
having so long supported ravening wolves, in the clothing of sheep; 
hirelings who fed themselves without sparing the flock; who came 
only to destroy and to fatten on the innocent blood of so many 

In June, 1 807, Father Kohlman, reporting his labor in Penn- 
sylvania, wrote to his Bishop: 

I remained upwards of two weeks in Philadelphia, and every day 
explained the Christian doctrine in English and German to the people and 
children in the church. Before leaving I admitted about twenty-six girls and 
boys to first communion. The grown people are as ignorant of their religion 
as the children, and it is easy to imagine how they live. I instructed as well 
as my limited time would permit. Almost all the confessions I heard were 
general or at least for three, six, or ten years back. 

The zealous work of Father Kohlman during his mission at 
Holy Trinity and the unceasing efforts of the pastor, Father Britt, 
to eradicate the irreligious spirit that had crept in during the dis- 
ruption, were crowned with success. No doubt the memory of 
the disastrous years served to strengthen the faithful, and Holy 
Trinity Congregation became marked for the piety of its members 
and the zealous ministry of its priests. 

Father Britt never learned English, but labored faithfully 
among his own people until 1811, when he was transferred to 
Conewago, Adams County, Pa. On 8 July, 1822, while offici- 
ating at the altar, he was stricken with apoplexy, and after removal 
to his room died, fortified by the Sacraments of the Church, in his 
81st year. He had been born at Fulda, entered the Society of 
Jesus 1 4 September, 1 764, and at the restoration of the Society 
in 1 805 re-entered the Society. 

Father Britt and Father Kohlman were two of the five Jesuits 
sent in 1805 and 1806 to America by the Superior General in 


Russia to aid the new mission, after the establishment of the new 
modus Vivendi for the Society of Jesus re-established after thirty 
years of extinction. While this is not the place to go into the details 
of the memorable Bull of Clement XIV, by which in 1773 the 
Society of Jesus was suppressed, yet as the Church in Philadelphia 
owes its existence to the labors of the members of the Society of 
Jesus before its suppression, and during the thirty years, it is nec- 
essary to say a word in passing concerning these gentlemen during 
that trying period when statecraft was permitted to harass that great 

By what was evidently a special act of Providence, neither 
Frederick the Great nor the Empress Catharine of Russia would 
permit the publishing of the Bull of Suppression in their dominions. 
The result was that schismatic Russia became the protector of the 
Jesuits. Pope Clement acquiesced in the condition, and the Fathers 
in Russia were authorized to continue their former life under the 
rule of St. Ignatius. Under the succeeding Pope, Pius VI, the 
Bishop of Mohilev was invested with jurisdiction over all the Re- 
ligious Orders in his diocese. Under this authority a novitiate was 
opened by the Jesuits and protected by Catharine the Empress. 
Houses and colleges followed in quick succession, and in 1 782 a 
Superior General was elected. When Pius VII became Pope, 
the Emperor Paul of Russia petitioned him for a formal approval of 
the Society, and in 1801 by the Bull Catholicae Fidel the Society of 
Jesus was fully recognized and re-established in Russia. It was 
further permitted that all who would could affiliate themselves 
with the Society in Russia. 

There were then living in the United States fourteen Jesuits 
who had signed their submission to the Bull of Clement XIV. 
These priests, as has been seen, had however formed themselves 
into a society to retain ownership of lands, etc., and practically had 
lived the rule of the Society. Two of them, Bishop Carroll and 
his co-adjutor Bishop Neale, on 25 May, 1803, wrote to Father 
Gabriel Gruber, the Superior of the Society in Russia, and declared 
on behalf of themselves and the other missionaries who had been 
members of the Society their anxiety to be rehabilitated as Jesuits. 


The answer, received in due time, readily granted the desire of the 
American Fathers, and a form of renewal of vows was prescribed 
and permission granted to Bishop Carroll to name a Provincial in 
America. A conference was held at St. Thomas's Manor, 9 May, 
1805, at which the attending Fathers expressed their desire to unite 
with the Society. On 21 June, Father Molyneux was appointed 
Superior with the powers of Provincial, and on the Sunday within 
the Octave of the Assumption, after an eight days' retreat, the 
vows were made and the Society revivified in America. 

The Jesuits were not formally re-established throughout the 
world until the Bull of Pius VII, 7 August, 1814, but the appoint- 
ment of Father Molyneux as Provincial by the General of the 
Order in 1806, and the opening of the Novitiate at Georgetown 
in the same year, put the Society on a working basis in the United 
States. The property of the Society had been carefully protected 
and increased, and the Society re-entered into possession in Mary- 
land and Pennsylvania. During the year sixteen young men were 
received as candidates for the priesthood and a large number as 
lay-brothers. With Father Britt, in 1805, Father John Henry 
was sent to America, and they were followed in 1806 by Father 
Kohlman and Fathers Francis Maleve and Peter Epinette. Bishop 
Carroll thus found his vast work in the infant Church aided by the 
wonderful strength that goes with the Society of Jesus. 

On 24 September, 1804, a charter was granted by the State 
Legislature to the Fathers of St. Augustine under the title of 
"Brethren of the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine." Those 
named in the Charter as the incorporators were the Rev. Matthew 
Carr, the Rev. Michael Hurley, the Rev. John Rosseter of the 
Order of the Augustinians, the Rev. Demetrius A. Gallitzin, the 
Prince-priest of the Alleghenies, and the Rev. Louis DeBarth of 
Tonawanda. This charter proved of great value in the days of 
Native Americanism, after the destruction of the church by the 
rioters when suit was brought against the City for damages. 

The records of St. Augustine's show the marriages and bap- 
tisms of many then notable in Catholic society whose descendants 


are prominent members of Protestant bodies. On 1 December, 
1801, Caroline Eugenia Girard and Henriette Girard, nieces of 
Stephen Girard, were baptized, and on 20 September, 1803, there 
is a record of the baptism of Augusta Virginia Peale, daughter 
of the celebrated portrait painter. George Washington Singerly, 
father of the late William Singerly, of The Philadelphia Record, 
was baptized in St. Augustine's, 1 7 July, 181 7, and on 6 March, 
1822, Henry Carey Lea, grandson of Matthew Carey, was bap- 

Among the marriages of the early records is that of John 
Hoskins to Catharine Girard, niece of Stephen Girard; Fielding 
Lucas, the Catholic publisher of Baltimore to Elizabeth Carrell; 
and of Henry Dominick Lallemand to Henriette Maria Girard, 
28 October, 1817. To this marriage Stephen Girard, Joseph 
Bonaparte, the ex-King of Spain, the Marshall Count Grouchy, 
and General Charles Lallemand, of the Army of Napoleon, were 

After the removal of Father Carr to St. Augustine's, the 
Trustees and congregation of St. Mary's felt the necessity of se- 
curing the prestige of their parish which was threatened by the 
new and larger church in the north. They petitioned the Bishop 
for a pastor of "suitable qualities and a good preacher," setting 
forth the need of a representative man who would sustain the 
dignity of St. Mary's as the leading church in the United States. 
The very man for the position was the Rev. Michael Egan, O. S. F., 
then stationed at Lancaster and but lately come from Ireland via 
Albany. He was an eloquent preacher, conversant in German 
and French,- and was of good presence and well educated. He 
was well known to the congregation of St. Mary's from his fre- 
quent visits to the city, where his brother resided at 15 S. Sixth 
Street, and the Baptism Register shows him to have officiated fre- 
quently. In 1803 the transfer was effected satisfactorily, and 
Father Egan took up his residence in the clergy-house next to St. 
Joseph's Church, and on 12 April, 1803, he was elected by the 
Trustees as co-pastor of St. Mary's with Father Rosseter. The 


Trustees of St. Mary's reimbursed the Church at Lancaster with 
the $150.00 that had been paid to the Albany congregation, who 
had paid for Father Egan's passage to America. 

Father Egan was a member of the Franciscan Order, but as 
there was no Province of that Order in America he was a subject 
of the Bishop of Baltimore. He was naturally desirous of es- 
tablishing the Franciscan Order here, and on 29 September, 1804, 
he was authorized to found a Province of his Order in America. 
His plans to do this, however, met with no success either in Ken- 
tucky, where it was first attempted, or in Pennsylvania, where 
Father Egan found a wealthy patron in the person of Joseph Cauff- 
man. This gentleman was most useful to Father Harding in the 
founding of St. Mary's, and during his long life, which ended 2 
February, 1807, he was most influential in church matters. He 
was born at Strasburg, Alsace, in 1 720, but at an early age came 
to Philadelphia. His daughter Mary was the wife of Mark Will- 
cox, but his descendants from his son Laurence have been lost to 
the Church through the marriage of that son with Sara Falconer 
Still well, by the Episcopal Bishop White, 23 April, 1 796, at 
Painswick Hall, Bucks County, Pa. Always eager to further the 
good of religion Joseph Cauffman, then living at Providence near 
Norristown, Pa., became interested in the project to establish the 
Franciscans in Pennsylvania. On 9 August, 1806, he conveyed 
to Rev. Matthew Carr, O. S. A., and Mark Willcox, 332% acres 
of land called Rodescheim, in Indiana County. This was for the 
purpose of a Franciscan church and parsonage, with burial-ground. 
The proposed establishment did not materialize, however, and in 
1810 Father Carr and Mr. Willcox conveyed the land to the then 
Bishop Egan. Had he lived in less troublous times, no doubt his 
plan for a Franciscan establishment would have become active, but 
after his death the land passed to the Rev. Michael DeBurgo Egan, 
his nephew, who on 6 August, 1823, conveyed it to Bishop Conwell. 

During the year 1803 the yellow fever which was raging in 
New York again broke out in Philadelphia and in the autumn be- 
came epidemic. The experience gained in the other visitations evi- 
dently was of value and the infected district, between Market and 


Walnut Streets and Front Street and the Delaware River, was quar- 
antined 1 2 September, 1 803, and the contagion thus kept within con- 
trol. The City Hospital received 88 cases from 12 September 
to 1 6 October, and of these thirty-nine were fatal. The total num- 
ber of victims of the plague is given at "about 120," out of 145 
persons stricken. Both Father Egan and Father Rosseter attended 
the fever-stricken of their flock, and during the epidemic Bishop 
Carroll visited the city and administered Confirmation at St. Mary's, 
1 1 September, 1 803. 

St. Mary's Free School on Walnut Street below Fourth Street 
was maintained, after the division of the parish with St. Augustine's, 
for the children of both parishes. The expenses were defrayed 
from the proceeds of sermons preached twice a year, one at each 
church, for that purpose. A month after Father Egan's appoint- 
ment to St. Mary's he preached the charity sermon and in Novem- 
ber of that year a second one. The receipts from both were 
dB 109. 1 In 1804 the receipts of the charity sermons for the school 
were $161, £40 at St. Mary's, and £20 2s. 6d. at St. Au- 
gustine's. In 1805 £72 lis. 8d. at St. Mary's, and £32 6s. at 
St. Augustine's. In 1806 £65 6s. 8d. at St. Mary's; £56 16s. 
2d. at St. Augustine's. In 1807 £73 7s. at St. Mary's; £51 7s. 
lid. at St. Augustine's. These reports in the Trustees' books are 
interestingly doubtful as to whether the fluctuations were due to 
the eloquence of the preachers, or the generosity of those attending. 

New Trustees were elected at St. Mary's in 1804, and they 
were the Rev. John Rosseter, the Rev. Michael Egan, John Car- 
rell, John Rudolph, Joseph Snyder, Peter Scravendyke, Patrick 
Linehan, Philip Smith, John Denniston, and Joseph Crap. The 
examination of the school was included in the Trustees' duties, and 
was made quite a function. The daily paper The Aurora of 8 
February, 1805, gives this report: 

An examination of the Free School of St. Mary's Church which for some 
time has been under the direction of Mr. John Doyle was held on the 4th inst. 
There were above forty pupils of both sexes present; their general deportment 

^he value of a pound in the United States then was $2,662/3. 


during the time, the manner in which they acquitted themselves in reading, 
spelling and Catechistical exercises and the specimens of writing which they 
exhibited, gave general satisfaction and constituted the highest encomiums that 
can be on the unrequited attention of their worthy teacher. It is to be regretted 
that the friends of the institution will not admit of extension to the more 
necessary parts of female education. 

The teacher of the lower school, Laurence Ennis, received 
no such glowing praise. His scholars "did not give satisfaction," 
and he was warned that if the next examination should not be satis- 
factory, "a scrutiny into the cause of defect will be had." Ennis 
evidently did not come up to the standard, for in July the Trustees 
were petitioned by a number of the congregation concerning "the 
decayed and deficient state of the lower school and its present 
director," and setting forth "the grave inconvenience they experi- 
ence in being obliged to send their children to different schools and 
thereby in a great measure deprive them of being taught the first 
principles of faith." The Trustees therefore resolved that in future 
"the school house shall be rented and a suitable teacher advertised 
for." When this was done, it was shown that there was no dearth 
of ambitious teachers. Applications were received from John 
Young, David Doyle, John Dunlevy, Tobias Barrett, Philip Reilly, 
Thomas Fowler, John Rice, Daniel Hitchcock, Maurice Graham, 
Patrick Callan, and Terence Byrne. David Doyle was selected 
to succeed the deposed Ennis. In September Patrick Callan was 
selected to succeed John Doyle, who declined to keep school any 
longer. The school troubles, however, were not ended. David 
Doyle resigned 6 April, 1807. "Affairs out of the city, want of 
health, and other circumstances not dishonorable to the Trustees or 
to him have caused the school not to meet our expectations" is 
the diplomatic comment in the minutes. On 1 3 July, 1 808, Patrick 
Callan had his salary increased to $400. 

Another cause of distress to the Trustees of St. Mary's was 
the choir, of which John Huneker was director, and which was 
made up of volunteers who received no pay. It seems like latter- 
day history to read in the minutes of the Trustees' meeting, 21 


May, 1804, that Joseph Crap, Joseph Azam, and Thomas Lech- 
ler, were appointed "a committee to regulate the choir." It was 
resolved "that the Trustees shall occasionally attend to assist in 
preserving order therein." Some light is thrown on the cause of 
the disorder by the resolution that "the first singer or leader shall 
have the preference in singing at funerals." The leader was Joseph 
Azam and the perquisite of the funeral fee took the place of 
salary. He was voted $50 by the Trustees in 1803, and $25 in 
1805, and a like sum in 1806, probably to make up for lack of 
funeral fees. Miss Anna Elverson "for her eminency as a singer 
in the choir" was presented with $25 by the Trustees. The desired 
harmony was not restored by these resolves, for at a meeting of the 
Trustees in June of 1805 the choir-question was again discussed 
and "because of some irregularities in the choir, by reason of some 
of the singers when certain pieces of music are sung, with which 
they are not acquainted, and thereby producing discord in the 
church," Father Egan and Messrs. Carrell and Ryan were ap- 
pointed a standing committee "to prevent such irregularities in 

With a view, doubtless, of overcoming the choir difficulty a 
subscription was opened 1 2 November, 1 804, to establish a singing 

The Reverend clergy and the Trustees of St. Mary's Church being 
desirous to establish a Singing School for the improvement to the youth of 
their society in sacred music, whereby the choir may be perfected and the 
participation of that very essential part of divine worship rendered more general, 
harmonious and regular: 

In order to effect this truly necessary and pious purpose they solicit the 
aid of their brethren by subscriptions or donations in the following terms, viz: 

1 st. That each subscriber for every five dollars shall be entitled to send 
a scholar for the season who may be any youth belonging to St. Mary's Church 
of good morals and conduct. 

2nd. Every subscriber under five dollars shall have a ticket of admission 
to visit the school when he may think proper during the season. 

3rd. The Direction and management of the school and the funds 
thereof shall be vested in the Trustees of St. Mary's Church. 


Sixty-five persons subscribed $324.50 for the Singing School. 

In 1805 the yellow fever again became epidemic, particularly 
in Southwark, where there were 676 cases. The Board of Health 
ordered, on 2 September, the publication of the names and resi- 
dences of the sick and by a later order directed all persons within 
the infected district to remove as quickly as possible to the country. 
The City Hospital was opened to the fever-stricken on 8 Septem- 
ber, and from 27 September to 31 October 359 patients were 
received, 1 72 of whom died. Two hundred tents were pitched at 
Rosemont for the poor. In Northern Liberties there were 147 
cases reported, and in the city proper (from Vine Street to South 
Street) 943 deaths are recorded between 16 August and 26 Oc- 
tober, most of which were doubtless from the fever. The Board 
of Health declared the epidemic at an end, 5 November. 

There is very interesting contemporary history of this plague 
in the letters of the Rev. F. X. Brosius to Bishop Carroll. Father 
Brosius was in bad health and was living with his sister in New 
Market Space (Second Street from Pine Street to South Street). 
In a letter of 17 September, 1805, he wrote: 

The neighborhood in which we live has been deserted since July. Mr. Carr 
has shut up his church and is out of the city. Mr. Rosseter is attending the 
sick from morning to evening. 

The fatalities of the latest epidemic that had taxed the capacity 
of the burial-ground around St. Mary's Church, together with the 
increasing population of the city, moved the Trustees to add further 
to the new graveyard that had been opened on the west side of 
Thirteenth Street below Spruce Street in 1801. In May and June 
of that year five lots had been purchased, three from Elizabeth, 
the widow of Adam Coreman, and two at public auction, for 
£149. Little use had been made of the new ground, however, 
as it was "so far out of town," and the minute book of the Trustees 
shows that the Trustees themselves scarcely knew where it was situ- 
ated; for the regulations made by them for its management refer to 
the ground as in Twelfth Street. However, there arose need for 
the space for burials, and in 1 806 additional ground was purchased 
at Thirteenth and Spruce Streets for £60 from A. J. Ross. 

First Bishop of Philadelphia. 

O. S. F. 


Establishment of American Hierarchy. — Consecration 
of Bishop Concanen. — Delay in Transmission of 
Bulls. — The Rev. William Vincent Harold. — En- 
largement of St. Mary's Church. — St. Joseph's Or- 
phan Asylum. — Private Schools in Philadelphia. — 
Consecration of the Bishops of Philadelphia, Bos- 

I HE year 1808 is made notable in the history of 
the Church in Philadelphia by the establishment 
of the Diocese and the appointment of its first 

The fast-growing Church in the United 
States had for a long time been too heavy a bur- 
den for even the wonderful executive ability of Bishop Carroll. 
Bishop Neale's appointment had lightened the work only in part, 
for the enormous territory, with its constantly growing cities and 
copious immigration from Europe, could receive little more than 
a superficial superintendence from Baltimore. The Church troubles 
in New York and Philadelphia showed the need of local episcopal 
authority in the large cities, and at length Rome yielded to the 
oft-expressed desire of Bishop Carroll, and in 1806 he was asked 
to name candidates for the Sees of New York, Philadelphia, Bos- 
ton, and Bardstown. A most difficult task was thus laid upon the 
Bishop, who knew from his own experience how much of the mate- 
rial success of the Church and the furtherance of religion depended 
on the tact, learning, saintly zeal, and physical strength of those who 
would be at the head of affairs. He made the choice as best he 
could from the limited material at hand, and the names of John 
Cheverus for Boston, Michael Egan for Philadelphia, Benedict 


Joseph Flaget for Bardstown were sent to Rome, 1 7 July, 1 807, 
with the recommendation that New York be placed temporarily 
under the jurisdiction of Boston. 

These nominations were ratified by Rome and on the recom- 
mendation of Archbishop Troy of Dublin, Richard Luke Con- 
canen, a Dominican and for years the Roman agent for Irish af- 
fairs, was appointed Bishop of New York. On 8 April, 1808, 
Pope Pius VII by the papal Bulls Pontificis Muneris and Ex debito 
Pastoralis Officii raised Baltimore to the archiepiscopal rank, with 
the four suffragan Sees of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and 
Bardstown. To New York was assigned all the State of New 
York and the eastern part of New Jersey; to Philadelphia, all the 
State of Pennsylvania, and the western and southern part of New 
Jersey; to Boston, the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, 
Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont ; to Bardstown, the States 
of Kentucky and Tennessee, the territories lying northwest of the 
Ohio and extending to the great lakes, and which lie between them 
and Canada and extending along them to the boundary of Penn- 

Bishop Concanen was in Rome at the time, and on 24 April, 
1808, he was consecrated by Cardinal de Pietro and two arch- 
bishops in the Church of the nuns of St. Catharine. To him were 
delivered the Papal Bulls appointing the other bishops, the two 
briefs of the Pope, the Pallium for Archbishop Carroll, and many 
important documents concerning the Church in America, notably 
one determining the status of the members of the Society of Jesus 
in the United States. He also received many donations in money, 
vestments, and plate for his Diocese, and when he set out, 3 June, 
for Leghorn to find a vessel for the United States he was much 
impeded by the immense cases that contained his luggage. 

At Leghorn Bishop Concanen found that the American ves- 
sels had been sequestered by the French, and after delaying for 
months trying to secure passage he returned to Rome, leaving his 
cases with Pallium, Bulls, and documents in care of the Messrs. 
Filicchi, with directions to forward them to Archbishop Carroll. 


This it was impossible to do in those perilous times, and Bishop 
Concanen's valuables and the papal documents never reached 

For more than two years Archbishop Carroll received no of- 
ficial notice of Rome's action. He knew that his Diocese had been 
divided and that the Bishop of New York had been consecrated, 
and at an early date he had appointed the Rev. Anthony Kohl- 
man, S. J., to be Vicar General of New York, having been em- 
powered to do so by Bishop Concanen ; but his position in regard to 
the other proposed Dioceses had to remain unchanged until he 
received the Papal Bulls. 

In the meantime Bishop Concanen remained in Rome and Ti- 
voli, where he was of great service, for Pope Pius VII had been 
taken prisoner by Napoleon and with his officials had been removed 
from Rome. In the spring of 1810 the Bishop of New York en- 
deavored to reach his Diocese, but was again unable to do so. In 
June, 1810, he got as far as Naples, where the officials of the port 
refused him permission to depart. He was taken down with a fever 
and died there, 20 June, 1810. Fearing the complications that 
eventually occurred, Bishop Concanen sent authentic copies of the 
Papal papers to the Rev. Mr. Emery for Archbishop Carroll and 
his suffragans by the Bishop-elect of Bardstown, who was then in 
France and who reached America in August, 1810. After Bishop 
Concanen's death Mgr. Quarantotti forwarded another copy of the 
Briefs and another Pallium to Archbishop Carroll by the Rev. 
Maurice Virola, a Franciscan priest. 

During the two years that elapsed from the announcement of 
his appointment until the actual consecration of Bishop Egan, the 
Catholics of Philadelphia were busily preparing for the event in 
a manner in keeping with the dignity of the richest and largest 
congregation in the United States, and of the leading city of the 
Union in those days. The whole population of Philadelphia was 
then 47,786, and of these only thirty were slaves. 

On 20 October, 1808, Bishop Carroll, in anticipation of the 
early receipt of the Papal Briefs, wrote to the Trustees of St. 
Mary's and Holy Trinity recounting the honor about to be con- 


ferred on Philadelphia by the appointment of a bishop and urging on 
them the necessity of making financial arrangements for the support 
of the bishop in a manner becoming the dignity of his office. Father 
Rosseter received the communication, and on 24 October, notified 
the Trustees and urged the necessity of the permanent support of the 
new prelate. The Trustees of St. Mary's appointed Messrs. Ash- 
ley, Johnson, and Snyder, of their number to confer with the Trus- 
tees of Holy Trinity and with the Rev. Michael Hurley of St. 
Augustine's. As a result of the joint conference it was arranged 
that the Bishop should receive $800 a year — $400 from St. Mary's, 
$200 from Holy Trinity, and $200 from St. Augustine's. St. 
Mary's Board of Trustees approved of that and further resolved: 

that the Trustees will contribute for the support of Rt. Rev. Dr. Egan as 
Bishop and Pastor of St. Mary's, in consideration of his having two associate 
clergymen, the following sums, viz: 1st. He is to receive the whole of the 
collections estimated at $500. 2nd. A further sum of $1600. a year, 
payable in the same order as provided for him as Bishop by the committees 
of the different congregations, it being at the same time understood and agreed 
that the Trustees reserve to themselves the exclusive right to the pew rents, and 
that in case there were not two associate priests a deduction at the rate of 
$500 a year should be made for the time of vacancy. 1 

This agreement was acceptable to the clergy and agreed to by 
them, it "being understood by the pastors that the associate clergy 
receive $200 a year for services, payable in the same manner as 
that of the Bishop, independent of his board, washing, lodging and 
other incidental expenses, the same to be for their personal expenses." 

The additional priest for whose maintenance the Trustees 
had arranged, arrived 24 November, 1808. He was "the elegant 
and eloquent Dominican, the Rev. William Vincent Harold." His 
first record is of a marriage, 26 November, 1 808. Father Harold 
was an Irish priest who had been stationed at Lisbon, Portugal, 
in 1800, and like many others was attracted by the possibilities of 
the new Church in the United States. He had heard in Ireland 
of the appointment of the new American Bishops long before the 
the news reached America, and had arrived in New York from 

A pew in St. Mary's at that time rented for $4 a year. 


Dublin, 10 November, expecting to be engaged by Bishop Con- 
canen, a Dominican like himself. Learning there that the Bishop 
had not arrived he applied for a position in Philadelphia. He 
bore letters from Archbishop Troy of Dublin and the Provincial 
of his Order, and, as Dr. Egan had also received reports of him 
from Ireland as being an orator and "a gentleman of good sense 
and most excellent conduct," Father Harold was warmly welcomed 
by him and given faculties, and promptly elected co-pastor of St. 
Mary's by the Trustees. 

In appreciation of the dignity acquired by St. Mary's as a 
cathedral-church, the Trustees resolved, 10 May, 1809, to enlarge 
the church and have it decorated in a suitable manner. A sub- 
scription was opened for this purpose. As all the city alike would 
share the honor, it was expedient that all should bear the expense, 
and Lewis Ryan was appointed to secure the names of the Catholics 
in the other parishes, on whom some of the Trustees would call for 
subscriptions. The main burden would fall of course on the pew- 
holders of St. Mary's, and an address to them was drafted by 
Father Harold and presented at the meeting held on 1 8 May, 1 809. 
It is written in the rhetoric of the orator, and as a sample of Harold's 
style it is given here. 


Appointed by your confidence to the temporal administration of our com- 
mon church, we feel it our first duty to promote the decency of public worship 
by a judicious application of the property committed by you to our management. 
At a period when our numbers were comparatively small the piety and public 
spirit of our ancestors devoted the returns of their industry to the erection of 
this church, and left us at once a monument of their religion, a strong claim 
on our grateful remembrance, and an encouragement to imitation. In order 
to accommodate our increasing numbers an enlargement of the church has been 
deemed expedient and a subscription opened for that purpose. Could this 
plan have been carried into operation by the ordinary resources of the church 
you will do us the justice to believe that we should have declined this mode 
of application, but you cannot be ignorant that our funds are unequal to such 
an undertaking, and we have every reason to be convinced that with means more 
ample you possess a spirit not less generous than those who have gone before 


We think it proper to inform you that by the improvement which your co- 
operation will enable us to make, 36 pews will be added to the church and that 
a choice in the purchase of these will be given to the subscribers proportioned 
to their contribution. While we address you specially and with just reliance, 
as pew-holders in the church, we do not forego a well-founded hope of liberal 
assistance from our brethren and fellow-citizens of Philadelphia who have 
never yet withheld their support from the promotion of any object so nearly 
connected with their religion. We take this opportunity of expressing our 
grateful acknowledgements to the ladies who have contributed so largely to 
the decoration of our altar. 

Every subscriber of $100 or upwards was entitled to one of the 
new pews, preference being given according to the amount sub- 
scribed by each. Those equal in subscription were to draw by lot 
for order of selection. The subscription books were issued with this 
heading : 

We, the undersigned, do promise and agree to pay the Trustees of St. 
Mary's Church in Philadelphia, the sums by us respectively subscribed, the 
same being for the purpose of enlarging and improving the said church. The 
time of payments to be, one moiety on or before the 1st day of October, 
which will be in the year of our Lord 1810. 

Witness our hands at Philadelphia, the 8th of June, 1809. 

The Trustees set a good example of generosity, for the list 
shows the names of John Ashley, $1000; John Rosseter, $500; 
Peter Scravendyke, $100; James Eneu, $100; Joseph Snyder, 
$100; Lewis Ryan, $100; Chas. Johnson, $50. The preference 
in selecting from the new pews was given to Messrs. Scravendyke 
and Rosseter, while the others, having subscribed equal amounts, 
drew by lot. 

Other subscriptions did not come as rapidly as was expected 
and on 7 November, 1809, the Trustees resolved to hold a lottery 
for the purpose of securing funds. Messrs. Ashley and Johnson 
were appointed to draft a petition to the Legislature "for the grant 
of a lottery to enable them to enlarge the church." In December 
the petition was made to the Legislature at Lancaster. 

Early in 1810 preparations were made to begin the delayed 
work. Lewis Ryan was elected treasurer of the funds, and the 
Trustees resolved unanimously that the church be enlarged "not 


exceeding 20 feet in length and in width not exceeding 22 feet." 
To secure the necessary room a plot of ground 14 x 50 feet north 
of the church was purchased from Richard Bache, Jr., and Sophia, 
his wife. This is the space still covered by the footway. The 
ground occupied by the vaults 1 x 114 feet was not bought until 

The improvements included also the enlarging of the free 
school, and it was decided to have the school incorporated, "ex- 
perience having convinced the Trustees of the necessity." In 
March the committee in charge of the work, Messrs. Johnson, Eneu, 
and Snyder, were empowered "to have the enlargement commenced 
immediately, and to employ workmen and contract for the material." 
Charles Johnson was engaged as Master Carpenter at $4 a day, and 
Thomas Tompkins, who subscribed $50 to the fund, was given the 
contract for stone and brick at six shillings a perch for laying stone 
and $3 a thousand for laying brick, "and no extra charges for 

No official word had yet come from Rome to authorize the 
consecration of the Bishop-elect, and Dr. Egan administered the 
Diocese as Vicar General of Bishop Carroll. A curious side-light 
is thrown on the manner of church government by a record in the 
Trustees' book, dated 7 May, 1810, setting forth a proposition 
that was accepted by the Trustees. It appears that the Rev. John 
Rosseter had offered to give $500 for the use of the church, if they 
would agree to pay him $50 a year in quarterly payments "during 
his natural life." In August Father Rosseter gave $300 more on 
the same terms. 

In August of 1810 Benjamin Carr resigned the position of 
organist and choirmaster of St. Mary's after two years and a half 
of service. His letter sets forth very pathetically his difficulties in 
procuring singers and in keeping them. Even the famous concert 
at St. Augustine's on 20 June, whilst a success in itself, had failed 
of his hope to rehabilitate the choir. This had been the greatest 
musical exhibition ever given in Philadelphia. Selections from 
Handel's Messiah and Haydn's Creation had been rendered by 
Miss Eliza Taws of Philadelphia, Thomas Carr, a tenor from 


Baltimore, and Mr. Shapter, a bass singer from New York. 
Thirty-four ladies and gentlemen took part. A Mr. Gillingham 
led the augmented orchestra, four organists, M. Taylor, B. Carr, 
T. Carr, and T. Meinecke of Baltimore, performed, and the 
famous trombone-players from the Moravian Seminary at Bethle- 
hem were engaged. However, the choir of St. Mary's was not 
improved, and Mr. Carr resigned and afterwards took charge of 
St. Augustine's choir. 

In the early part of the year 1806 a meeting was held in the 
little chapel, as St. Joseph's was called, to take steps to provide 
for the permanent maintenance and education of the Catholic or- 
phans of the city. The helpless waifs left destitute and orphans 
by the plague of 1 798 had been looked after by a number of gen- 
tlemen who had secured homes for them in private families. As 
the number of unfortunate little ones was added to, it became ad- 
visable to secure a home for them. A house was rented on Front 
Street below Lombard Street and put in charge of a matron named 
Caney. This home was now found to be too small, and as its 
support was precarious the meeting in the little chapel was called to 
arrange the orphans' affairs in a proper way. The priests of the 
city, Fathers Carr, Egan, and Hurley, with Messrs. Oellers, Eck, 
Cornelius Tiers, John F. Hoares, and other active benefactors of 
the orphans were present. The result of the meeting was the 
formation of the "Roman Catholic Society of St. Joseph for the 
Maintenance and Education of Orphans." Father Carr was chosen 
President, and Father Hurley, Secretary and Treasurer, but sub- 
sequently Joseph Eck was elected Secretary. The house next to 
Holy Trinity on Sixth Street above Spruce Street, which had 
been bought from Horace Binney by the Trustees of Holy Trin- 
ity, was secured for the orphans, and on 1 7 December, 1 808, an 
Act of Incorporation was granted by the Legislature. Later on, 
the present site of the asylum, S. W. corner of Seventh and Spruce 
Streets, was purchased, and during its century of life the Home 
has done an invaluable work for destitute orphans. In 1810 there 
were 1 50 orphans in the Home, and the capital of the society was 
$4,397. Bishop Egan was President, Ed. Carrell, Vice-President ; 


James Oellers, Treasurer, and J. Maitland, Secretary. On 6 
October, 1814, the Sisters of Charity came from Emmitsburg to 
take charge of the Home, and it is under their provident care that 
the St. Joseph's Home has prospered. 

An interesting commentary on the activity of Catholics in 
these early days is found in the interest taken in the matter of edu- 
cation. St. Mary's, St. Augustine's, and Holy Trinity, had each 
its parish school, but the desire for higher education led to the 
opening of private schools. In 1806 Charles Carre, a Catholic 
from Alsace, opened a private school called Clermont Seminary, 
on the road from Frankford to Germantown. He was assisted in 
his teaching by John Thomas and John Sanderson. In 1810 he 
published an advertisement in The Portfolio setting forth the prin- 
ciples on which the institution was conducted and the course of 
studies pursued. 

Another notable private school was that founded, 16 May, 
1807, by the Rev. Francis Xavier Brosius, at Mount Airy, in the 
house that had been the country seat of Chief Justice William 
Allen. Father Brosius was a native of Strasburg and had come to 
America with the Price-priest Gallitzin. He was first in Balti- 
more, then Conestoga, and afterwards in Lancaster, and in 1804 
pastor of St. John's Church, Baltimore. He was not of robust 
health, and, as was seen above, was ill at his sister's house in New 
Market Place, Philadelphia, in 1805, during the yellow fever epi- 
demic. No doubt his poor health was the cause of his turning to 
teaching, for which he was in other respects well fitted. He trans- 
lated and published several educational books on Natural Philos- 
ophy and Astronomy. The prospectus published in The Aurora, 
8 January, states that 

Father Brosius offers his services to such parents as are desirous to pro- 
cure to their children a Classical Education in the French, English, Latin 
and Greek Languages, Ancient and Modern History, Geography, the use 
of the Globes and Maps, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, etc. He intends 
establishing his Seminary a few miles from the city where proper masters will 
be engaged to superintend the different classes. The French will be the pre- 
dominant language. For admittance and further information parents are 
requested to apply at the present residence of Mr. Brosius, 28 Pine St. or at 
Stephen Sicard's, 1 30 Arch St. 


Mr. Sicard was a dancing master, whose pupils met in a room on 
Church Alley, 30 feet x 40 feet and described in his advertise- 
ment as "that noted dancing-room." In the later advertisements 
of Father Brosius's Seminary the course was extended to include 
"Likewise, if desired, dancing, drawing and music." 

In August of 1810 Bishop Carroll received the long-expected 
copies of the Papal Briefs elevating him to the rank of archbishop 
and authorizing the consecration of the three bishops of Philadel- 
phia, Boston, and Bardstown. In September Dr. Egan was of- 
ficially notified by Archbishop Carroll and was informed of the 
date set for the consecration. Accordingly, on 20 October, 1810, 
the Bishop-elect, with his assistant, the Rev. William Vincent Har- 
old, started for Baltimore. The Rev. Patrick Kenny, the famous 
apostle of Delaware County, was left in charge of St. Mary's, as 
Father Rosseter was too ill to assume the responsibility. James 
Eneu, one of the Trustees, advanced $2 1 3 for the expenses of the 
journey and the outfit for Bishop Egan's consecration. 

To add greater solemnity and impressiveness it had been ar- 
ranged to have the consecrations on different days. As Philadel- 
phia was the most important of the suffragan sees, Dr. Egan's con- 
secration took place first, on Sunday, 28 October, 1810, in St. 
Peter's, the pro-cathedral. The Archbishop was the consecrator, 
with the Bishops-elect of Boston and Bardstown as assistants. 
There is no record of the name of the preacher, but it is very likely 
that the Archbishop himself was the orator on what all recognized 
as a great occasion. On the Feast of All Saints Archbishop Car- 
roll consecrated the Bishop of Boston at St. Peter's, assisted by 
Bishops Neale and Egan. Father Harold preached the sermon. 
On 4 November, Dr. Flaget was consecrated by the Archbishop, 
assisted by the Bishops of Philadelphia and Boston and the latter 
preached the sermon. 

For two weeks the Archbishop, his co-adjutor and suffragans 
remained in consultation, arranging the affairs of the Church and 
forming rules for its government, all of which were embodied in 
the "Pastoral of the Bishops of 1810." 

Administration of Bishop Egan. — Installation of Bishop 
Egan. — St. Mary's Enlarged and Improved. — Trou- 
bles with Trustees. — First Episcopal Visitation 
of the Diocese. — Financial Difficulties of St. 
Mary's Trustees. — The Bishop and the Harolds. — 
Return of the Harolds to Ireland. — Death of 
Bishop Egan. 

ISHOP EGAN on his way home from Baltimore 
visited Mt. St. Mary's College, in company with 
Bishop Cheverus, to see his two nephews, stu- 
dents there, Michael de Burgo Egan and Mi- 
chael Connolly. The two Bishops also visited 
Mother Seton and her convent at Emmitsburg. 
Bishop Egan was very much interested in the young Institute, as 
the three first to enter had been members of Philadelphia families 
and well known to him. These were Miss Cecilia O'Conway who 
had entered the convent 7 December, 1808, and who was the 
daughter of Matthias J. O'Conway, teacher and sworn interpreter 
of foreign languages; Miss Mary Ann Butler, daughter of Cap- 
tain Butler and sister of the Rev. Thomas Butler, who had entered 
Mother Seton's convent in June, 1809; the third was Miss Mary 
Murphy, Matthew Carey's niece, who joined Mother Seton in 
April, 1809. 

On Bishop Egan's return to Philadelphia with Father Harold 
there began the troubles with the Trustees, troubles which caused 
Bishop Egan's death and eventually were brought to a disastrous 
climax in the Hogan schism. Father Harold had not been content 
with the agreement entered into by the Trustees and the clergy 
before his coming to Philadelphia, by which the clergy of St. Mary's 
received $1600 a year from January, 1809, and the collections, 


estimated at $500. Father Harold's estimate of his own worth 
had not been lessened by the flattering reception which he had re- 
ceived and the prominence in which he had been placed at St. 
Mary's. His experience in the Old World had given him a keen 
appreciation of values, and just before the consecration Father Ros- 
seter informed the Trustees that, if the salaries were not increased 
to $3000, Father Harold "would abandon the Church." After 
the return from Baltimore, where Father Harold had preached a 
splendid sermon, his views worked their influence on the new Bishop, 
who notified the Trustees that the salaries were not sufficient. 

Harold's attitude to the Trustees is described as "hostile and 
overbearing." At one time he declared that "the church belonged 
to the clergy and with it the whole of the income"; and when he 
was asked how in that case were repairs and expenses to be paid 
for, he replied, "By putting your hands in your pockets." A com- 
promise was arranged, 1 6 December, by which the Trustees agreed 
to pay $2400 to the Bishop and two assistants from 1 January, 

A few figures will give a good idea of the condition and 
membership of the three parishes at the end of the year 1810. 
The baptisms for the year at St. Mary's numbered 267, an increase 
over the preceding year of 41 ; the burials were 154, eight more 
than in 1809. At St. Augustine's the baptisms were 103, an in- 
crease of thirteen; and the burials 29, which was nine more than 
the preceding year. At Holy Trinity the baptisms numbered 1 52, 
an increase of four; and the burials 91 , an increase of three. 

On Sunday, 6 January, 1811, the enlarged and renovated 
church was formally opened, although the improvements had not 
been completed. There is no record of the ceremony, but it must 
have been very elaborate as marking the installation of the new 
Bishop. The music was in charge of Benjamin Cross, who had 
succeeded Mr. Carr as choirmaster at a salary of $150 a year. 

The walls of the church were painted a dull blue, with the 
ceiling in light blue, studded at intervals of twelve inches with 
golden stars. The wall back of the altar was decorated with an 
elaborate fresco of the episcopal insignia, a mitre resting on the 




crozier and cross and surmounting an open book, while underneath 
ran a scroll inscribed /. H. S. The altar, "highly finished and an 
elegant piece of work," was decorated by "The Ladies of the 
Altar," the society of twelve young ladies organized in 1809 to 
care for and adorn the sanctuary. The Trustees had voted $50 
to them to be expended in floral decorations for the opening cere- 
mony, and they had collected a handsome sum themselves to pay 
for the erection of the altar. The total cost of the improvements 
was about $30,000, and the contributions amounted to $ 1 7,000, 
of which sum $8,600 was in large donations, viz: one of $1,000; 
one of $600; one of $500; two of $300; twelve of $150 forty- 
one of $100. Among the subscribers a distribution of the pews 
was made 2 January, and the following list of pew-holders gives 
an interesting picture of the prominent Catholics of St. Mary's who 
occupied their pews and looked proudly on at the installation of 
their new Bishop, 6 January, 181 1 : 


1. R. W. Meade, 

18. Vincent Ducomb, 

2. Jno. Ashley, 

20. Amos Holahan, 

3. Lewis Clapier, 

22. Mich. Durney, 

4. Capt. John Rosseter, 

24. Jno. Byrne, 

5. Lewis Ryan, 

26. Hugh Cavanaugh, 

6. Henry O'Neill, 

28. Mich. Magrath, 

7. Chas. Johnson, 

30. Jno. Keating, 

8. Jno. Doyle, 

32. Francis Breuil, 

9 & 1 1 . Savage & Dugan, 

34. Cath. Mallen, 

10. Anthony Groves, 

36. Edw. Mullen, 

12. Geo. Nugent, 

38. Patrick Hogan, 

1 4. Isaac Hozley, 

40. Jno. Dubarry. 

16. B. Sarazin, 


1, 2, 3. Don Luis de Onis, 

26. Hugh Christy, 

4. Morgan Car, 

28. Jas. Boyle, 

6. Francis C. Sarmeinto, 

30. Timothy Desmond, 

7. Jno. Maitland, 

32. Nicholas Lambert, 

8. Jos. Snyder, 

34. Thos. M. Lane, 

9. Berd Gallagher, 

21. Daniel Dougherty, 

10. Capt. Jno. Meany, 

1 7. Mich. Waldman, 



Nich. Esling, 


Jno. McClinchy, 


Timothy Curren, 


Peter McGauly, 


Augustus Bousquet, 


Jas. Haveland, 


Victor Pepin & Breschard, 


Jas. Mooney, 


Thos. Neuman, 


Dan'l Quinn. 


Jos. Donath, 



Not named. 


Philip Smith, 


Chas. Taws, 


Anthony Steel, 


Patrick Callen, 


Miss Cauffman, 


Jos. C. Springer, 


Martin D. Dougherty 


Gerald Byrne, 


Edw. McDermott 


Jasper Moylan, 



Jno. Lamb, 


Jas. Quigley. 


Jno. Griffith, 



Felix McGugan, 


Bartt. Kely, 


Fras. Mongan, 


Thos. Hicky, 




Harper or McGuire. 



Jas. Brady, 


Thos. Reilly, 


Wm. Smith, 


Chas. Callaghan. 


Mich. Roark, 

Father Harold's claim that the church belonged to the clergy 
and not to the Trustees, opened up a vital question for Bishop 
Egan, and as a result of the latter's correspondence with Arch- 
bishop Carroll and Bishop Neale it was found that the ground on 
which St. Mary's Church stands and for some distance on the west 
and south belonged to the heir of Father Harding, the Jesuit. This 
heir was the Rev. Francis Neale, S. J., who had inherited it from 
Father Molyneux, who in turn had inherited it from Father Lewis, 
to whom Father Harding had transferred the property by his will. 
Mr. FitzSimons, the Pennsylvania Catholic Signer of the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, was a witness of the deed of purchase 
by Father Harding from David Swan, and he made declaration 
of his part of the transaction and produced a copy of the deed. It 
is well to bear in mind that St. Mary's Church was the actual 


property of a Jesuit then and afterwards, even when both the 
Bishopries and the Hoganites were claiming its ownership. 

On 16 March, 181 1, Bishop Egan wrote to Archbishop Car- 
roll that the Rev. James Harold, uncle of Father William Vincent 
Harold, and "formerly a respectable parish priest in the neighbor- 
hood of Dublin," had arrived in Philadelphia. His arrival was 
unexpected, and "made his nephew completely happy and should 
he remain with us, he will be a great acquisition." This worthy 
was destined to play an important part in the history of Philadel- 
phia, as a source of scandal and cause of disruption. He had been 
appointed by Archbishop Troy of Dublin as pastor of Kilcullen in 
1789, and in 1794 had been transferred to Saggart, anciently 
known as Rathwole. Here in 1 798 he was arrested on suspicion 
of being hostile to the government and deported to Botany Bay. 
The voyage on the "Minerva" lasted from 24 August, 1799, to 
1 1 January, 1 800, and was filled with the scenes of cruelty and 
sufferings that characterized all such voyages in that dreadful time. 
He remained a prisoner in New South Wales until 1803, when a 
pardon was granted him by Captain King, the Governor of the 
Colony. As part of England's cruelty was the Protestantizing of 
the convicts, none of the priests among them was permitted to exer- 
cise any ministrations. After his pardon Father Harold was al- 
lowed to officiate at Norfolk Island, but in 1810, worn out by the 
hardship of the life and the brutality shown the convicts and the 
restrictions placed on his priestly offices, he applied and obtained 
permission to return to England. He stopped at Rio Janeiro and 
then changed his course, coming to Philadelphia, where, as Bishop 
Egan's letter shows, he was warmly welcomed. As Father Ros- 
seter was failing in health, Father James was elected one of the 
pastors of St. Mary's in his stead. In April he was chosen one 
of the three priests required by the Charter as Trustees of the 
church. The other Trustees elected with him, were Bishop Egan 
and Father William, and Messrs. Philip Smith, Treasurer; Thomas 
Maitland, Secretary; Jos. Snyder, Lewis Ryan, Peter Scraven- 
dyke, Anthony Groves, and John Doyle. 

The installing of the two Harolds in power (William Vin- 
cent had been made Vicar-General) seems to have been the signal 


for the beginning of trouble. The subscriptions for the church im- 
provements had not been adequate. The debt was very heavy; 
money was scarce, and when the Trustees tried to borrow $3,000 
to complete the work, they could find no one willing to lend to 
religious institutions. Finally, the sum of $2,500 was advanced by 
Philip Smith, because of "the absolute necessity under which the 
Board labored for money." In this difficulty four of the Trustees, 
Ashley, Ryan, Snyder, and Scravendyke, tried to resign, but as 
they assigned no reason the Trustees refused to accept their resig- 

In August, 181 1, Bishop Egan set off for the first episcopal 
visitation of his Diocese. The tour lasted three months, during 
which he suffered much from the fatigue of the long journeys in 
stage-coaches and from the excessive heat. He visited Pittsburg, 
Conewago, Lancaster, and many stations where the scattered Cath- 
olics gathered to greet their Bishop. He confirmed 1460 persons, 
two hundred of whom belonged to the territory ministered to by the 
Prince-priest Gallitzin. 

The prelate's troubles were augmented by the difficulty he 
had in securing a German priest for Holy Trinity, in place of the 
Rev. Father Britt, who in June, 1811, had been suddenly trans- 
ferred to Conewago by Father Neale, the Provincial of the Jesuits. 
The needs of the congregation were attended to by Father Mat- 
thew O'Brien and Father Kenny, neither of whom was persona 
grata to the German Congregation. At length at the end of the 
year a regular pastor was found in Father Roloff, who had been 
assistant to Father de Barth in Lancaster. 

The year 1812 brought no change in the money difficulties 
of the Trustees at St. Mary's, or in the relations of the clergy. 
In January Bishop Egan's health was very bad, and he suffered 
so severely from hemorrhages that he was forbidden by his phy- 
sician to preach as often as had been his custom, lest he endanger 
his life. One day, at dinner, the Bishop in the presence of Father 
Hurley of St. Augustine's told the two Harolds the doctor's opin- 
ion, and while declaring his intention of preaching at St. Mary's, 
St. Augustine's, and Holy Trinity occasionally during the winter, 


he asked the Harolds to preach alternately at St. Mary's and so 
save his strength. To this the younger Harold replied that he 
would preach every third Sunday, as he did not consider himself 
bound to any more than that part of the labor. This reply to the 
old Bishop, worried and ill as he was, throws light on the life he 
must have led with the two Harolds, and makes pathetic the refer- 
ences in his letters to his sleepless nights and the nervous trem- 
bling of his hands during his morning Mass. In vain did the Bishop 
try to arrange the removal of Father James Harold to Pittsburg 
and the appointment of Father O'Brien at St. Mary's, and so he 
was forced to submit to the tyranny of the two men. 

In the meantime the Trustees were endeavoring to carry on 
the business side of the parish under unfavorable conditions. The 
statement of April, 1812, showed that the receipts amounted to 
$3,729.47, and the expenses $3,105.11, which left a balance of 
$624.36 with which to meet the church debt of $5,260.26. The 
committee reported that they saw no way of being freed from debt 
except by dispensing with the services of one of the pastors and 
by reducing the salaries of the others to the amount paid in New 
York and Baltimore. A fruitless attempt was made to borrow 
$2,000 to pay the salaries of the clergy, and as a result the treas- 
ury was empty in July when the quarterly payment of $600 was 
due to the priests. The clergy refused the Treasurer's offer of 
$200, and on Sunday, 23 August, the following circular was placed 
in the pews of the church : 

Philadelphia, 22 August, 1812. 

The clergy of St. Mary's church have given up to the Trustees, the 
pew rents and collections; and accepted a salary payable each quarter in 
advance. As this is our only support, we might have expected regularity in 
its payment . . . and yet your clergy have been reduced to the morti- 
fication of soliciting the Board for that purpose! The payment which should 
have been made on the first of July has been hitherto withheld! Some time 
after it became due, the treasurer came to us with the information, that he 
had no provision in his hands to meet our claims: but added, that a quar- 
terly meeting of the Board took place on Monday the 1 3th of July. The 
hour of meeting arrived: and, as if the intention of your Trustees had been 
to laugh at our expectations, two members attended, expressing their regret 
that the other gentlemen had not come, to devise some means to pay us our 


salary. Notice for a convening of the Board was served; and the number 
necessary to the transaction of business attended; when it appeared that the 
money which might have been retained for the payment of our salary, had 
been paid off by the treasurer, to the creditor of the Church. A resolution 
was then passed to raise the money by loan, and a committee appointed for 
that purpose. . . . The committee reported that they could procure 
no money, but the treasurer informed us that if thirty or forty dollars could 
be of any service, he held that sum at our command. 

Could it be your wish to submit your clergy to such humiliation, and 
from such men as these? Is our house to be thrown on the charity of the 
public! or the patience of our creditors! Are our rights to be violated! our 
feelings tortured! and our character dishonored! by the caprice or the malice 
of these individuals? We cannot be mistaken, when we express our convic- 
tion, that you will reprove those men, who by injuring your clergy, have 
insulted yourselves! If these persons have labored to carry on their plans, 
by exciting the jealousy of the people against their pastors, if by intrigue and 
unprincipled misrepresentation they have sought to impose on the simplicity of 
some, and to encourage the malice of others, and if by these unworthy means 
they have succeeded in weakening the influence of our character, they have 
done you a lasting injury, by diminishing the efficacy of our instructions. We 
have endured our wrongs in silence so long as silence might contribute to 
your peace and safety! But a just regard to the dignity of our character, 
and a due feeling of respect to the people committed to our direction, forbid 
us any longer to be the passive victims of men who, whilst they are gratifying 
their own miserable resentment, effect to promote your interests and to repre- 
sent your feelings! 

We request a meeting of the pewholders on Monday next, the 24th inst 
at half past six o'clock in the evening, at St. Mary's Free School. 

MICHAEL, Bishop of Philadelphia. 

W. V. Harold, Vic. Gen. 

James Harold, 


Bishop Egan wrote afterwards to the Archbishop: 

I candidly acknowledge the words of that address were never approved 
by me though from a pliability of disposition I unfortunately sanctioned it by 
my signature. 

This extraordinary document, couched in the imprudent rhet- 
oric of the elder Father Harold, whose long sufferings had prob- 
ably affected his mind, caused tremendous excitement. The meet- 


ing on Monday night was attended by others than pew-holders, 
and scenes of violence took place. The meeting was presided over 
by one of the Harolds, and previously-prepared resolutions ap- 
proving the clergy's conduct were passed and the Trustees were 
condemned without even an opportunity of having a hearing. 

The publicity that the contention secured divided the con- 
gregation into two rival parties, the adherents of the clergy who 
were called Bishopites, as the wily Harolds hid themselves behind 
the Bishop, and the sympathizers with the Trustees, who were 
headed by Matthew Carey. The first party subscribed $1,000 
to the clergy fund. The Trustees received letters threatening bodily 
violence and the burning of their houses if they opposed the priests 
further. Charles Johnson on this account withdrew from the con- 
troversy, but the other seven lay Trustees, John Ashley, Joseph 
Snyder, Lewis Ryan, Peter Scravendyke, Anthony Groves, and 
Edward Carrell, published in September an answer to the Clergy's 
circular in a pamphlet entitled "An Appeal to the Congregation." 
In this the money question was detailed at length in a statement 
explaining the gradual increase of the clerical salaries, until with 
perquisites and rents and contributions from the other congre- 
gation Bishop Egan and his associates received about $4,000 a 
year. The "Appeal" then accused the clergy of interfering with 
the election of the Trustees, and finally expressed the desire to 
submit the matter to the Archbishop for settlement. 

On 12 September, another pamphlet, entitled a "Protest of 
the Pew-Holders Against the Late Proceedings Respecting the 
Conduct of the Trustees," was issued, deprecating the harsh lan- 
guage of the clergymen's circular and the irritation and discord 
produced by it, and defending the Trustees. The sixty-seven pew- 
holders who signed this were substantial members of the parish 
whose subscriptions to the enlargement fund amounted to upwards 
of $8,000. 

As a result of the deplorable condition existing in St. Mary's, 
many of the congregation refused to attend services there, and not 
only heard Mass at Holy Trinity but had baptisms and marriages 
performed there. Bishop Egan, therefore, was obliged to issue a 


prohibition to the priests of Holy Trinity forbidding them to exer- 
cise pastoral duties to persons of other nationality than German. 

During the year 1812 the burials in St. Mary's cemeteries 
had brought in $1,104 to the Trustees. Forty-three burials had 
been in the old ground, and 1 28 in the new ground on Thirteenth 
Street. The baptisms at St. Mary's numbered 259. In Holy 
Trinity parish the baptisms were 145, and the deaths 37. It St. 
Augustine's the deaths were 20, and the baptisms 95. 

In the beginning of 1813 Bishop Egan succeeded in restoring 
peace with the Trustees by making concessions to them in return 
for their withdrawing a petition about to be presented to the Leg- 
islature asking for the exclusion of the clergymen from the Board 
of Trustees. The two Harolds, however, were as obnoxious as 
ever to both the Bishop and the Trustees. William Vincent had 
been relieved of the office of Vicar General, and both Harolds 
greatly resented this, as their plan had been to have William Vin- 
cent appointed co-adjutor of Philadelphia, with the right of suc- 
cession. This end would have been attained had their plan worked 
itself out. The Bishop's sister had been sent away for peace* 
sake from the rectory, and his brother-in-law, who was sexton, was 
destined soon to follow. With the Bishop alone in their hands 
and at enmity with the Trustees the victory was sure to be theirs. 
The Trustees became aware of the intrigue and sided with Bishop 
Egan in his efforts to control the church, and opposed the Harolds 
in their demand for an exorbitant increase of salary. The Har- 
olds, however, had a strong following among the congregation, 
won and held through admiration for the eloquence of the younger, 
and sympathy for the elder's sufferings for Ireland in Botany Bay. 
Secure in their hold on the people whom they felt sure Bishop 
Egan could not oppose, the two Harolds arranged a dramatic 
coup, which fortunately failed in effect. On Sunday, 21 Febru- 
ary, 1813, the Rev. James, in the presence of the Bishop and Father 
William Vincent, announced from the pulpit that both he and 
William Vincent had resolved to perform no more duties in that 
church. Obviously the scheme was that the Harolds considered 
themselves invaluable, and a public resignation might have the effect 


of bringing forth a public and popular request that they remain 
at St. Mary's. To their amazement the design was frustrated by 
Bishop Egan gladly accepting the resignations. Rendered des- 
perate by the harassment of the last two years, with alacrity he 
seized on what seemed a providential method of escape from the 
predicament. In spite of Father William's journey to the Arch- 
bishop at Baltimore, and in spite of the petition signed by 534 
members of the congregation asking for the re-establishment of the 
Harolds, in spite of the meetings and protests, in spite of the fact 
that many of the congregation acted on Thomas Maitland's pro- 
posal and actually nailed up their pews and abandoned the church, 
Bishop Egan remained firm and would not re-admit the Harolds 
as pastors at St. Mary's. Fathers Patrick Kenny and Matthew 
O'Brien, then ill in Baltimore, were appointed pastors by him. 
The Archbishop, at the request of the Haroldites, recommended 
Bishop Egan "to weigh before God the benefit which may ensue 
from Mr. Harold's return to his former situation, against the evils 
which he apprehended from his readmittance to it." Bishop Egan 
answered by absolutely refusing to re-admit Harold, saying: "The 
peace of the church would be insecure, the advancement of piety 
would not be favored, and my personal happiness would be sacri- 
ficed. Every day and every proceeding give additional force to 
this my unalterable resolution." 

Early in April William Vincent Harold waited on the Bishop 
in company with Messrs. O'Neil, Maitland, Christie, and Smith. 
Harold asked whether, if he should go to Ireland with his uncle 
and have the latter remain there, the Bishop would accede to the 
wishes of his (Harold's) friends and have him reinstated. The 
Bishop replied that he had provided clergymen for St. Mary's. 

Another method remained, however, to the Harolds as a des- 
perate resort, and that was to manipulate the election for the Trus- 
tees in April, so that there would be elected a majority favorable 
to the Harolds who would harass the Bishop and thus perhaps 
succeed in having them reinstated. This scheme worked to per- 
fection. The payment of two dollars, a half year's pew-rent, 
entitled a person to a vote at the election, and by the judicious 


outlay of such pew-rent receipts the polls from 11 A. M. to 1 
P. M. were crowded with "dray porters from the wharfs and others 
of that description who formed such a multitude and secured so 
completely the access to the windows that the respectable part 
of the congregation was prevented from approaching the officers 
appointed to receive tickets." The result of the election was a 
Board composed of all Haroldites, three of whom belonged to St. 
Augustine's, Doran, Desmond, and Fagan, and with the last- 
named Harold Sr. lodged. The other Trustees were John Doyle, 
Hugh Christy, Henry O'Neil, Matthias O'Conway, and Christo- 
pher O'Connor. The pew-rent receipts were increased to $1 ,791 .40 
by the above-mentioned ruse. 

The first meeting of the new Board, 4 May, was a stormy 
one. The Bishop presided and refused to put the various motions 
made to discredit the old Trustees, and one to reduce to $800 a 
year the salary of the Bishop and "whatever pastors he may call 
in." Bishop Egan and Father Kenny finally retired and left the 
Trustees to pass whatever motions they wished, including that 
on salary. The result was the Bishop's refusal to accept $200 
offered him in July, as the first quarter's payment. In August three 
deputations informed the Bishop that, if the Harolds were not 
reinstated, a church would be built for them and so they would 
succeed. The prelate remained firm and threatened the refusal of 
absolution if a schism should be effected. Toward the end of 
the year a compromise on the salary question resulted in the 
Bishop's accepting a proposal of $1,600 a year for himself and 
clergy, until the debts of the church should be paid, although he 
wrote that "this sum in the present times would be hardly sufficient 
to maintain a house and provide a decent suit of clothes in a year." 

In the meantime Father William Vincent Harold had given 
up his efforts to be restored and had returned to Ireland with a 
Dominican, the Rev. John Ryan, who had left Baltimore to aid 
the Harolds in the fight in Philadelphia. The friends of William 
Vincent presented him with $1,000 on his sailing. In Ireland 
Harold and Ryan made speeches criticizing Bishop Egan and 
Archbishop Carroll. Afterwards Harold went to Lisbon and 


became Prior of a convent of his Order there. He returned to 
Philadelphia in Bishop Conwell's time, and was one of the causes of 
the Hogan-Conwell controversy that ended in the Hogan schism. 
James Harold returned to Ireland a few months after William 
and there he remained, fortunately for the Church in America. 

The receipts from the church and graveyards in 1813, ac- 
cording to the report of a committee of the Trustees, brought in 
$4,215.01, and the expenditures amounted to $2,652.61 ; so that 
the committee reported themselves in favor of increasing the salary 
of the clergy to $1,600 from 1 January, 1814, "as the utmost the 
finances will allow." 

During the year 1813 and in the early part of 1814, Bishop 
Egan's health, never strong, was severely taxed by his duties at St. 
Mary's. Until the arrival of the Rev. Terence McGirr in Oc- 
tober, 1813, Bishop Egan had to rely on the precarious assistance 
of Father Kenny, who was in charge of the missions in Delaware 
County, and the Rev. Mr. Garcia, who was of little help owing 
to his peculiar habits ; one of which was, as the Bishop complained, 
to begin Mass a half or three-quarters of an hour before the ap- 
pointed time. The situation was changed but little, even when the 
Rev. McGirr had arrived, for Father Kenny could not be relied 
on as a permanent help, on account of his physical disabilities and 
the distance he had to travel to St. Mary's from Coffee Run. 
The Bishop's "tremor in the hands" had increased so that he could 
not say Mass, unless assisted by another priest who upheld the 
chalice for him. In a letter to Archbishop Carroll in November 
he says that "it had taken four days to write the letter." 

The April election of Trustees resulted in a victory for the 
anti-Bishopites, who had used the same tactics that had brought 
them success the year before. More pamphlets attacking the Bishop 
and his followers appeared and he spoke severely from the pulpit 
in reprimanding those who caused so much trouble to him and 
scandal to the Church. The nervous strain at length brought about 
a complete collapse of his little remaining strength and after a two 
weeks' illness, on Friday, 22 July, 1814, at his request he was 
laid on the floor, before the picture of St. Francis of Assisi. With 


his arms extended in the form of a cross, after receiving the last 
Sacraments from Father John Grassi, S. J., who had come from 
Woodstock, Michael Egan, first Bishop of Philadelphia, gave his 
tortured spirit to his Maker "The first victim of episcopal rights — 
for his end had been premature," Father Kenny remarks in his 
letter to the Archbishop notifying him of the death. All that night 
the body, clothed in full pontificals from mitre to sandals, lay in 
state in St. Mary's, reverently guarded by the people of the parish 
which he had served so well. On Saturday the venerable Jesuit 
Father Grassi said the Mass of requiem, and Father Hurley of 
St. Augustine's preached the sermon over the body. At five o'clock 
on Saturday afternoon the body was laid in a grave in St. Mary's 
church-yard. No stone marked the Bishop's grave until 1830, 
when the Trustees had built a raised tomb back of the church. It 
bore the following inscription: 










AND DIED JULY 22, 1814 


The Bishop's will was dated 6 July, 1814, and decreed that 
his debts be paid, the principal one to Mr. Philip Smith, from 
whom $200 had been borrowed during the enlargement of the 
church to pay the salaries of the Bishop and Fathers Rosseter and 
W. V. Harold. A hundred Masses were to be said by the clergy- 
men of the diocese for the repose of his soul. The residue of 
real and personal estate was to be invested and used for the edu- 
cation of his two nephews, Michael DeBurgo Egan and Michael 
Connolly, for the priesthood; and whatever remained was to be 
shared by them after ordination equally, or to be given to the one 


who was ordained, if both did not persevere, or if neither became 
a priest the estate was to go for the education of one or more poor 
children for the priesthood. John Carrell and Thomas Hurley, 
Jr., were appointed executors, the witnesses being Father Michael 
Hurley and Joseph Wigmore, the sexton of St. Mary's. 

Michael DeBurgo Egan became a priest at Mt. St. Mary's 
and afterwards President of that Institution; but Michael Con- 
nolly gave "no mark of the vocation for which his uncle, Bishop 
Egan, wished him educated," wrote the President of Mt. St. 
Mary's to John Carrell, the executor. 

Administration of the Diocese by Rev. Louis deBarth, 
V. G. — Difficulty in Securing a Bishop for Phila- 
delphia. — Activity of the Haroldites. — Arrival of 
Rev. William Hogan in Philadelphia, and His Ap- 
pointment at St. Mary's. 

DAY or two before his death Bishop Egan ap- 
pointed as Vicar General of the diocese the 
pastor at Conewago, the Rev. Louis deBarth. 
The Archbishop duly notified the Trustees of 
St. Mary's that Father deBarth would be in 
charge of the diocese of Philadelphia until Rome 
appointed a Bishop. As this implied that Father deBarth would 
be pastor of St. Mary's, the Trustees instantly objected; and faith- 
ful to their idol, William Vincent Harold, they demanded that 
the latter be restored to them as their pastor. Archbishop Carroll 
replied in his kindest manner, but the Trustees insisted and, finally, 
in August wrote him that his "denial of justice and subserviency of 
the episcopal authority to the improper views of a few laymen 
would be as fatal to religion as it was in the days of Henry VIII 
and Elizabeth." To this the Archbishop responded that the "cor- 
respondence should cease when it is no longer mutually respectful." 
In the meantime Father deBarth begged the Archbishop to 
release him from the position of Administrator of the Church in 
Philadelphia, but the Archbishop insisted that he serve, since Bishop 
Egan had appointed him. Father deBarth, however, did not at- 
tend a Trustee meeting until 21 November, 1815, when the ques- 
tion of Bishop Egan's executors' suit against the Corporation for 
unpaid salary was discussed. It was voted by all the Trustees, 
excepting Fathers deBarth and McGirr, that proper attorneys 
should be engaged to oppose the suit, and Counsellor Hopkinson 


was accordingly retained. The executors won the case in March, 
1817, and $600 was voted to Father deBarth to settle with the 
estate of Bishop Egan. 

While the Trustees of St. Mary's were writing abusive letters 
to the Archbishop in the summer of 1814, that prelate's soul was. 
filled with the horrors of the war raging about him. Washington 
had been seized by the English and, after the fashion of the Huns 
and Vandals rather than of a civilized nation, the victors destroyed 
the public buildings, the public library, and the government arch- 
ives. Baltimore was infested by the enemy, Fort Henry bom- 
barded, and along the Potomac sacrilegious destruction and pillaging 
of churches took place. In spite of the anguish all this caused the 
venerable Archbishop, he was obliged to set about having a bishop 
appointed to Philadelphia. No regulations had been adopted for 
such a contingency, as there had been no response to the inquiry 
in the matter sent to the Pope when captive at Savona. The Arch- 
bishop hesitated to suggest names himself to Rome, and therefore 
he wrote to each of the suffragans and to the administrators of 
New York and Philadelphia asking that they with himself and 
his co-adjutors unite on three names to be submitted to Rome. The 
Archbishop suggested several names from which a choice might be 
made, and in a confidential letter gave his own opinion of those 
mentioned. Father Dubourg, as a member of the New Orleans 
diocese, and therefore subject of another Province, would not be 
a good choice. The Rev. John B. David of Bardstown the 
Archbishop considered too valuable to Bishop Flaget to be taken 
from him. Of Father Hurley of St. Augustine's he wrote: "There 
is in the opinion of all a great fund of capacity in him, but some 
contend that his outward demeanor requires to be matured by the 
lapse of a few more years, and that his impetuosity is too vehement 
and uncircumspect." An objection to Father Gallitzin was the 
heavy debt contracted by him and the uneasiness caused thereby. 
Of Father deBarth, he wrote: "His firmness of mind is qualified 
to withstand a turbulent party in Philadelphia, but his temper is 
very warm, his passions sudden and fearless, theological knowledge 
too limited for the complicated station, without a hope of improving 


it for he has been long unable to bear .study, reading and very 
little writing at least in his own account of himself.*' 

It was no easy thing to get the right sort of man to accept the 
position of Bishop of Philadelphia. The dignity carried with it 
too much anxiety, as Bishop Egan's death had made known to all. 
The administrator, Father deBarth, refused to have his name sub- 
mitted. The Rev. Ambrose Mareschal, afterwards Archbishop of 
Baltimore, declined. Father David was named and declined. And 
since no one would accept willingly, an attempt was made to force 
the administrator, Father deBarth, into the position. He was ap- 
pointed by the Propaganda and the Bulls were sent to him, but 
he returned them and absolutely refused the office. 

In the meantime the loyal followers of Harold were not idle. 
As their request to Archbishop Carroll had met with no success, 
they secured the influence of some of the members of the hierarchy 
in Ireland. There is in the archives of Baltimore the original draft 
of a letter sent by Archbishop Carroll to Archbishop Troy of Dublin. 
This prelate had secured the appointment of Bishop Concanen, and 
others in Canada and England, and to him application had been 
made in favor of his fellow Dominican, William Vincent Harold, 
After reminding Archbishop Troy of some of Father Harold's ac- 
tions in America and his own and his companion Ryan's attacks on 
the American Church and hierarchy, Archbishop Carroll went on to 
say : "Would it not be resented as a very improper interference if we 
the Bishops in the United States should presume to suggest to the 
Holy See the persons to be appointed to fill the vacant Sees of Ire- 
land?" Archbishop Carroll wrote also to Cardinal Litta, the prefect 
of the Propaganda, in order to offset the influence of the Irish Bish- 
ops, and declared that in case of the appointment of a priest who had 
hastened the death of Bishop Egan "serious dissensions and seces- 
sions from the Church might justly be apprehended." His letter 
spoke also of the inadvisability of appointing to an American bish- 
opric the subject of a country then at war with the United States. 
Archbishop Carroll died 3 December, 1815, and Bishop Leonard 
Neale, who had been co-adjutor with the right of succession, thus 
became Archbishop of Baltimore. To him the indefatigable 


friends of Harold instantly applied to have their favorite restored 
to St. Mary's. Archbishop Neale knew only too well the troubles 
which Harold had caused, and he refused to consider the Trustees' 
proposition. When Archbishop Mareschal succeeded to the See 
of Baltimore at the death of Archbishop Neale in 181 7, St. Mary's 
Trustees once more endeavored to have Harold appointed. The 
Archbishop refused to interfere in the matter as being outside his 
jurisdiction. Through Bishop Connolly, of New York, negotiations 
were begun again with Rome to name Harold as Bishop of Phila- 
delphia, after Father deBarth had again refused the dignity. The 
Propaganda, however, replied that Father Harold "did not pos- 
sess those qualities which are necessary for a bishop and therefore 
on account of Religion he should not be promoted to that dignity." 

During these years of waiting for a head, affairs did not go 
smoothly in Philadelphia. Fathers deBarth and McGirr officiated 
at St. Mary's; but as every day the news of the appointment of a 
bishop was expected, the administrator hesitated to act in matters 
which a bishop would have decided at once. Besides, routine 
work obliged him to be away from the city much of the time. 
Father McGirr seems to have been remarkable in no way as a 
preacher or organizer, and so parochial affairs simply drifted along. 
The unrest and national division among the people caused by the 
war had its effect on church administration. Discipline, never much 
enforced because of the few priests and the distance from central 
authority, became more and more relaxed. All complaints of abuses 
and suggestions of remedies Father deBarth referred to the ever- 
expected and so long-delayed bishop. 

The Trustees of St. Mary's had never been wholly content 
with their Charter, and they seized on this time to secure the amend- 
ments which they desired. In February, 1820, at the meeting two 
who had always been loyal Haroldites, Augustine Fagan and 
Doyle, proposed that legal steps be taken to amend the Charter so 
as to increase the power of the Trustees and exclude, more or less, 
the clergy from the government of the parish. All voted affirm- 
atively, excepting Fathers deBarth and McGirr. At the March 
meeting Father McGirr, who was presiding, refused to consider 


the question when it came up, and John Dempsey was called to 
the chair and unified the proceedings. No further action, however, 
was taken by the Trustees during that year or the next, but the 
question was held in abeyance with many others waiting only an 
opportunity to blaze forth into open battle between the priests and 

Into this confused and unwholesome condition of affairs in 
Philadelphia came one who was to cause the greatest blot on the 
history of Catholicity in Philadelphia and who was to serve the 
devil's purposes against the Church by crystallizing disobedience, 
impiety, and lack of loyalty, into an open schism that served as a 
test of faith to the Catholics of the city, — a stumbling block to the 
weak and the lukewarm, and a strength to those of the faithful who 
never judge the worthiness of the Church by the unworthiness of 
some of its ministers. The Rev. William Hogan, whose name after- 
wards became execrated, was a native of Limerick, Ireland, and the 
nephew of the Rev. Patrick Hogan, P. P., of St. Michael's, 
Limerick. He came to New York, a priest, in 1819, with his cousin 
George who was to study for the priesthood in Baltimore. William 
bore with him a letter of recommendation from Bishop Tuohy of 
Limerick, and having presented this certificate to Bishop Connolly 
of New York he was accepted into that diocese and appointed pastor 
of Albany, Lansingburg, and the vicinity. In the troubles that 
developed afterwards Bishop England declared that he had learned 
from Ireland facts which showed that Hogan's departure was an 
act which indiscretion had compelled. His cousin also afterwards 
declared that Hogan had been under censure in Limerick and had 
come without his exeat, or honorable discharge of his Bishop. As 
the latter gave a letter of recommendation, it was probably in the 
hope that Hogan would do better in a strange country; and even 
if he did not, the old country would be better without him. 

In March, 1820, Hogan made his first visit to Philadelphia 
on the way to Baltimore to the ordination of his cousin George, who 
was to be a subject of the Philadelphia Diocese. Hogan presented 
a letter of introduction from Bishop Connolly to the administrator, 
Farther deBarth, and on the strength of this Farther deBarth intro- 


duced Hogan to Matthew Carey, John Ashley, and other important 
members of St. Mary's congregation. Hogan preached a very good 
sermon, at the request of Father deBarth, and as Philadelphia was a 
big improvement on Albany and Lansingburg, and Hogan appeared 
to be a big improvement on the clergymen lately stationed at St. 
Mary's, the result was the new preacher's election in April in place 
of Dr. Gallagher, who had come from Charleston to assist at St. 
Mary's. There was no further formality than the letter of introduc- 
tion. Bishop Connolly wrote afterwards that he had given Hogan 
no exeat, and this fact developed much debate in the days of the 
schism, as it was claimed that Hogan had come surreptitiously into 
the diocese. As he had been received by Bishop Connolly without 
an exeat, and as Farther deBarth himself had been received without 
one, it would seem that the formalities were not closely observed, 
and so the question of the exeat would not have been discussed had 
the event been less diastrous. In point of fact the method of eccles- 
iastical inductions was very different in those days from that observed 
now. The Trustees were the employers of the priests, much as they 
employed the sextons. Provided that the priest had a recommenda- 
tion from his Bishop, the Trustees arranged terms, etc., and hired 
him. When therefore the administrator introduced Hogan, the 
Trustees appointed him. Hogan simply charmed the Trustees and 
the congregation by the engaging sermons which he preached and by 
his manners and personal appearance. A contempory description 
of him is interesting : 

The Rev. Mr. Hogan was both personally and intellectually endowed 
with remarkably handsome features and an oratorical ability of a winning 
and persuasive order. He was in fact a decided favorite, more particularly 
with the ladies and children to whom he made himself highly agreeable by 
his genial and social manners. Frequently has he been noticed after the 
morning services to mingle with the congregation, and visit their pews con- 
versing with the ladies and patting the children on the head with almost 
parental fondness. He was beyond doubt the handsomest man that ever pre- 
sided over St. Mary's Church. In stature he was about five feet ten inches 
and most admirably formed in body and limbs, with dark blue eyes and a 
complexion in which blended the lily and the rose. His hair was dark brown, 
nearly black, and adorned his head in the most graceful manner. When in 


the pulpit with his priestly robes of office, he was the embodiment of manly 
beauty, accompanied with almost a spiritual effulgence that radiated from 
his noble brow and benign countenance. 

This description of the man by an admirer gives an idea of the 
popularity such a man would win. Bishop England described him 
as "deficient in the most common branches of an English education," 
but he had the gift of ready speech and must have had refinement 
of manners and polished address, as he was received and entertained 
in the homes of the Ingersolls, Sergeants, Prices, Bories, Binneys, 
Cadwalladers, Chews, and others of the distinguished and aristo- 
cratic Philadelphians who lived in the then fashionable West Third 
Street and East Fourth Street. "He was the most popular clergy- 
man who had been at St. Mary's for many years," Matthew Carey 
wrote of him. But his popularity did not depend on the opinion 
of his fashionable friends; he devoted himself to the work of the 
parish in a way that gained him a host of friends among the congre- 
gation, and was in marked contrast to the previously existing condi- 
tions. In a pamphlet * is found "a cursory view of the state of 
religion in St. Mary's Congregation for a few years previous to the 
coming of the Rev. Mr. Hogan," in which the writer says: 

This congregation has always been looked upon as highly respectable, 
but we owe this respectability to ourselves not to the priests who have occa- 
sionally been sent out to us, except in one or two instances. I do not wish 
to detract from the merits of Rev. Mr. deBarth, but he certainly did not 
increase the respectability of our church by keeping in his employ such 
persons as those who have been in the habit of ascending our pulpit, deliver- 
ing sermons unintelligible to the majority of the congregation, preaching 
doctrines in direct contradiction to our feelings and associating with the very 
lowest dregs of society. I turn away from this picture horrid as it is true. 
Our church during the afternoon service of Vespers was abandoned, the 
poor and the indigent children of the congregation were neglected, and in 
a word our ministers did not comply with their sacred obligations. Such 
was the real state of our congregation when the Rev. W. Hogan appeared 
among us ; we hailed his arrival as a resuscitation of our abandoned religion. 

Some of Hogan's activities are described thus by Matthew Carey: 

1 No. 2235, O, Ridgeway Library. 


He distinguished himself by an extraordinary degree of zeal in catechiz- 
ing the children of the congregation, in which he was very successful. A Sun- 
day school had been established some years before, but had never prospered, 
and was then in a sickly and expiring state. This school he reorganized and 
attracted to it great numbers of scholars of both sexes. Many of whom 
previously destitute of suitable clothing, were clothed with the proceeds of 
charity sermons occasionally preached by Mr. Hogan on Sunday evenings, 
a practice which had never before prevailed in that congregation. 

To such a degree had Hogan come to be a favorite of all 
classes in a few months that, when rumors were circulated concerning 
his character, they were not believed, and his good qualities out- 
weighed in the minds of his friends the accusations of dandyism 
and foppishness and other unpriestly qualities of which he was 
accused. But while the people naturally judged him by his better 
parts, the ugly rumors became more and more specific, and charges 
were freely made against him of conduct and habits unbecoming 
his priestly vows. Father deBarth was absent from the city, and 
his fellow-priests at the clergy-house in Willing's Alley, Fathers 
McGirr and Cummisky, expostulated with him. Hogan, proud 
of his success and friends, therefore resolved to live by himself where 
a close watch could not be had on his movements. A small two- 
story house stood in Willing's Alley separated from the clergy-house 
by a small yard, and into this Hogan moved. He assigned as a 
reason that there were not sufficient accommodations and convenience 
in the old house for the priests. There was doubtless much ground 
for this criticism, as the old house must have been in a dilapidated 
state. The owner, Father Neale the Jesuit, rented it to the priests 
of St. Mary's, but for so modest a sum that there could be no repairs 
made. The old furniture used in the past by the Jesuits was 
scattered through the rooms; and while each priest had a bedroom, 
there was but one study for them, and that was on the first floor. As 
a result of Hogan's complaints and removal a meeting of the pew- 
holders of St. Mary's was held in August and the Trustees were 
requested to remedy the conditions. The sum of $322.65 was 
spent on furnishing Hogan's house, and $34.70 for carpets for 
Father McGirr, and $34.04 for carpets for Father deBarth. 


Ensconced in his own house and free from the surveillance of 
his fellow-priests, Hogan was at liberty to live his own life. The 
other priests at St. Mary's openly criticized him, and Father Hurley 
at St. Augustine's spoke about him from the pulpit. When Father 
deBarth returned to the city in July, it was supposed that Hogan 
would be dismissed, but he gave no public signs of his disapproval 
beyond going to some of the families of the parish and advising them 
against admitting Hogan to their homes. 

The latter, however, was ill at ease, for he knew his position 
was precarious. He accordingly applied to Archbishop Mareschal 
for permission to leave the diocese, and afterwards applied to Bishop 
Flaget and the people of Louisville for acceptance into the Diocese 
of Bardstown. From both he received a favorable answer and his 
traveling expenses from the people of Louisville. His acceptance 
by the Bishop of Bardstown would depend, of course, on a letter 
from Father deBarth. This was not to be obtained, as Bishop 
Conwell was daily expected, and the administrator wished to leave 
the matter of Hogan and his accusers and defenders to be settled by 
the new Bishop. Hogan was therefore still in St. Mary's when 
Bishop Henry Conwell arrived in Philadelphia, 2 December, 1 820. 

Second Bishop of Philadelphia. 

Administration of Bishop Conwell. — His Early Life. — 
His Installation. — Suspension of Father Hogan. — 
The Beginning of the Hogan Schism.— Ordinations 
in Philadelphia. — St. Joseph's Established as a Sep- 
arate Parish. — Excommunication of Hogan. — Bishop 
Conwell's Action Approved by Archbishop Mares- 
chal. — St. Mary's in Possession of the Hoganites. — 
Attempt of the Hoganites to Establish Schis- 
matic Church in the United States. 

| OR six years after Bishop Egan's death, the See 
of Philadelphia remained vacant. The various 
candidates had refused to accept a position which 
each succeeding year made less enviable. At 
length, 26 November, 1820, the Holy See ap- 
pointed to Philadelphia the Rev. Dr. Henry 
Conwell, Vicar General of Armagh, Ireland. 

Henry Conwell was born in 1745, at Moneymore, County 
Londonderry, and was ordained priest in 1 776. For twenty-five 
years he filled the office of Vicar General to the Most Rev. Dr. 
O'Reilly, Archbishop of Armagh. At the death of Archbishop 
O'Reilly, Dr. Conwell was the unanimous choice of the clergy 
of the diocese for the archbishopric. The other four Archbishops 
of Ireland, however, who had been educated at Salamanca, wrote 
to Rome advocating the appointment of Dr. Curtis, who for forty 
years had been president of that University. Cardinal Consalvi, 
then Secretary of State, was in favor of Dr. Curtis, who was ac- 
cordingly appointed Archbishop of Armagh. To Dr. Conwell 
was given the choice of the Bishopric of Madras or that of Phila- 
delphia, and he chose the latter. On Sunday, 24 September, 1820, 


he was consecrated in London by Bishop Poynter, and some weeks 
later started for America, arriving in Philadelphia on Saturday, 
2 December, 1820. 

Bishop Conwell was a Greek scholar of no mean ability, and 
his Latinity was classical. He spoke French fluently, and Spanish 
and Italian with little difficulty. "He was tall, straight and muscu- 
lar, and when occasion required, not deficient in dignity. Though 
of uncertain temper, he was kind-hearted, forgiving, and a bountiful 
giver.** The popular idea that has been transmitted of Dr. Con- 
well, through the literature of his enemies, is that of a stupid, un- 
educated and irascible prelate, who was ruled by his temper and 
personal feelings, instead of by a sense of equity or appreciation 
of his episcopal dignity. On the contrary, Dr. Conwell was a 
man of superior attainments, as is shown by his long and honorable 
administration of the Archdiocese of Armagh as Vicar General. 
Coming at the age of seventy-five years to a country utterly dif- 
ferent in everything from the conditions under which his life had 
been spent, he found himself plunged into the midst of a most un- 
usual controversy, accompanied by conditions that meant harm to 
the Church. Before leaving Ireland he had heard of the Rev. 
Mr. Hogan's record, and upon reaching Philadelphia he was 
greeted with the reports of the clergy and laity in regard to the 
latter's conduct at St. Mary's. Whatever opinion he may have 
formed from these reports, he was not left long in doubt as to the 
character of the man. 

On Sunday, 3 December, the Bishop took possession of the 
See, and was present at the High Mass. The clergy of the city, 
the late administrator of the diocese, Father deBarth, and a great 
throng of the faithful were present to greet their new head. The 
Rev. William Hogan preached the sermon, and to the amazement 
and horror of the clergy and congregation, it consisted of a severe 
and acrimonious attack on Father deBarth. What the preacher 
said derogatory to Father deBarth, is not preserved in any of the 
records. It had no defenders either then or in the strife that fol- 
lowed, both sides agreeing that his words were worthy only of 
condemnation. The Bishop was loath to begin his administration 


in Philadelphia by an act of rigor toward Mr. Hogan, even though 
he had heard the reports of his misconduct, and himself had been 
a witness to Hogan's public attack of Father deBarth ; he therefore 
sought to bring about a reformation without scandal. He admon- 
ished Hogan to leave the house occupied by him alone, and return 
to the regular clergy-house of St. Joseph's. He advised him also 
of the reports that he had heard concerning him, and in the most 
fatherly way sought to bring about a change in him for the better. 
Hogan, however, flatly refused to remove to the clergy-house, and 
on the following Sunday, 1 December, he again preached a sermon 
in which he declared that he would not allow any one, not even 
the Bishop, to designate his place of residence, or the company he 
should keep. The Bishop construed the language of this sermon 
as an open defiance of his episcopal authority, and of this overt act 
he was constrained to take notice. Accordingly, 1 2 December, the 
Bishop called the priests of the city together, and in their presence 
informed Hogan that his faculties were withdrawn. 

The suspended cleric instantly rallied his friends about him, 
and public meetings were held, in which, aided by Matthew Carey, 
they protested against the Bishop's action. Delegations were sent 
to the Bishop, requesting Hogan's rehabilitation, and toward the 
end of the week the latter professed himself willing to apologize 
for his words. The prelate refused the request of the delegation, 
and also refused to accept the apology of Hogan if reinstatement 
to St. Mary's was to follow. What seems to have been harsh 
conduct on the part of the Bishop was in reality caused by his 
desire to avoid public scandal. Hogan's friends naturally thought 
suspension too severe a punishment for the words he had publicly 
uttered, and criticized the Bishop's refusal to rehabilitate him or 
to accept his apology. As a matter of fact the Bishop suspended 
Hogan not only because of his public defiance of authority, but 
because of the reports of immorality that he had received concern- 
ing Hogan's life at St. Mary's. The Bishop was not obliged to 
give to the public his reasons for Hogan's suspension. Had he given 
them, perhaps things would have been different, but Bishop Con- 


well acted in what he considered the best manner under the cir- 
cumstances. It was not until the controversy was at its height that 
Bishop Conwell confessed the motive for his action. 

In the meantime Hogan published pamphlet after pamphlet 
in which he used abusive language against Bishop Conwell and 
the clergy of St. Mary's. He endeavored to draw Archbishop 
Mareschal and Bishop Cheverus into the controversy, and their 
refusal to become embroiled in the matter was a signal for more 
vituperation in newspapers and pamphlets. He went to the length 
of proposing to his cousin, the Rev. George Hogan, who had been 
removed from Carlisle, that they together should apply to the 
Protestant Episcopal Bishop Hobart of New York "to enter his 
services, and in a few years we might be able to lay by a com- 
fortable provision for life." 

In February, 1821, a pamphlet was published by Hogan, in 
which, with considerable plausibility, he handled many points in 
the controversy, construing canon law as supporting his position, 
and opposing Bishop Conwell. In this he threatened within four- 
teen days to resume the exercise of his priestly functions. A Prot- 
estant church had been leased, and Hogan and his followers planned 
to found an Independent Catholic Church. The Bishop threat- 
ened the excommunication of Hogan and all who would attend his 

In the movement to secure the amendment of the charter that 
began in February, 1820, the Hoganites saw an opportunity of 
securing St. Mary's Church for themselves. A meeting of some 
of the congregation was held, and the Legislature was petitioned 
for the privilege of amending the charter. An Act of the Legis- 
lature permitted an amendment of the charter on condition of the 
approval of the Supreme Court. When the amendments excluding 
the clergy as members or Trustees were proposed to the Supreme 
Court, however, that tribunal passed upon them unfavorably. Chief 
Justice Tilghman, Justices Gibson and Dunghan assenting, handed 
down the opinion that the Trustees were not the corporation, and 
that only the corporation could act. 


That all the members of the congregation did not enter into the 
Hoganite plans appears from a letter in the archives of Baltimore, 
addressed to Archbishop Mareschal, dated 21 April, 1821, and 
signed by Charles Johnson, John Carrell, Cornelius Tiers, Philip 
Smith, Hugh Cavanaugh, M. Durney, and Thomas Maitland, in 
which it was stated that 

the majority of pew-holders are opposed to their [Hoganites] proceedings; 
that there are a majority against any further prosecution of measures relative 
to Mr. Hogan. Their [Hoganites] meetings were conducted chiefly by per- 
sons devoid of true religion, and composed of men and women whose char- 
acters have been truly exemplified by their conduct, and strangers of every 
denomination, whom curiosity excited to witness the novel spectacle of inex- 
perienced young men expounding the canons and discipline of the Catholic 

Nevertheless the election held in Easter-week, 1 82 1 , procured a 
Hogan majority of the Trustees. These were John Leamy, John 
Ashley, Patrick Connell, Joseph Strahan, John Dempsey, Joseph 
Dugan, Augustin Fagan, and John Doyle. 

During this stormy period Bishop Conwell ordained to the 
priesthood, 1 January, 1821, his nephew Bernard Keenan, who 
had accompanied him from Ireland; and in May he ordained 
Thomas Hay den, who afterwards became the pioneer of the faith 
in Bedford County, Pa. 

Hogan's supporters were in full control of St. Mary's Board 
of Trustees, there being eight Hoganite lay-members against the 
"pastors of St. Mary's." They lost no time in improving their 
advantage, for at the meeting of the new Board, held the day after 
the election, when Bishop Conwell and Father Cummiskey and 
Father Hayden took their places as members of the Board, on 
the ground that they were pastors of the church, and as such en- 
titled to their seats, the lay Trustees immediately adopted a pro- 
test against the presence and participation of the Bishop and Father 
Hayden, on the ground that they were not pastors of St. Mary's 
and not citizens of the country. After thus practically expelling 
their opponents, another meeting was held the next day, and Father 
Cummiskey alone of the clerical Trustees was present. The ex- 


Treasurer, Dennis McCready, having refused to deliver up the 
seal of the corporation, a new seal was ordered to be procured, and 
affixed to the memorial to the Supreme Court, praying for amend- 
ments to the charter. The Hogan Trustees were now in possession, 
and considered themselves the "corporation." 

In this phase of the controversy between the followers of 
the Bishop and the followers of Hogan, each party claimed the 
ownership of St. Mary's Church, when, as a matter of fact, it 
was still the legal property of the Rev. Francis Neale, S. J. 

As violence had marked the mingling of the two parties in 
St. Mary's Church, the Bishop withdrew to the old chapel of St. 
Joseph adjoining his residence, and there the remnant of those 
faithful to his authority gathered about him. Thus the existence 
of St. Joseph's as a separate parish began, and the date is marked 
by a tablet on the wall, inscribed "Enlarged, 1821." 

The Bishop removed some of the vestments and altar furniture 
from St. Mary's to St. Joseph's, whereupon a writ of replevin was 
taken out by the Trustees, and suit instituted, 14 May, to recover 
articles valued at $1,000. The Trustees' lawyers were Messrs. 
Duponceau and Ingersoll; and Lewis Ryan and James Bradley 
gave bond for the Bishop, who claimed that the articles were the 
Bishop's property as presiding pastor. The Trustees, in a meeting 
held 1 6 May, ordered that **all articles necessary for divine service 
should be procured." They rejected the Bishop's claim to be pastor 
of St. Mary's, and recognized him as Bishop only ; they condemned 
him for denouncing William Hogan, and expressed their desire that 
Hogan should be reinstated as pastor of the church. Accordingly 
Hogan took his place as pastor and as Trustee on 14 May. He 
was made President, and the Rev. James Cummiskey, who was 
placed with him, expressed his dissatisfaction, and afterwards ab- 
sented himself from the meetings. On Sunday, 1 5 May, St. Mary's 
Church was closed "against clergy and people." 

As Hogan had continued, in spite of the Bishop's admonitions, 
to celebrate Mass, although suspended from his priestly office, his 
superior proceeded to take the steps he had threatened, and on 
Sunday, 27 May, 1821, read from the altar of St. Augustine's 


Church, "loudly and distinctly,'* the following form of excommuni- 
cation, in the presence of Fathers Hurley, Cummiskey, Hayden, 
Ruloff, Holand, and Doyle: 

Whereas the Rev. William Hogan, not having the fear of God before 
his eyes, and regardless of his duty as a Christian, and a Catholic priest, has 
not hesitated to tear and rend asunder the seamless garment of Christ, by 
causing confusion in the Church, and endeavoring to establish a schism, which 
has already succeeded so far as to divide the congregation of St. Mary's, and 
which has deprived the clergy and the Roman Catholics of the City of Phila- 
delphia of the use of their Cathedral: 

And whereas the said William Hogan has usurped and exercised, and 
arrogated to himself the right of exercising priestly functions, not only without 
our approbation, but in direct violation of our pastoral mandate, forbidding 
him in express terms to perform any functions of the sacred ministry of the 
priesthood, under pain of incurring the severest censures of the Church: 

And whereas by his infraction and utter disregard of our prohibition 
and monitions, many of the flock commited to our spiritual care and super- 
intendence have been led astray, and many are still in danger of being seduced 
into the like errors, by his and their example and arguments and false reason- 
ing, and still further to assist by their presence at the sacrilegious functions of 
his ministry, which would involve them in like censure, and thus bring a curse 
on themselves and families: 

Therefore, considering the charge we have of their souls as Chief 
Pastor, and that we are obliged to give a strict account of them at the last 
day, when we must all appear together before the tribunal of the all-seeing 
Judge; and solicitous accordingly, lest he, or they, or we ourselves, should 
perish and be lost forever by our neglecting to take notice of such conduct and 
prevarication; we duly admonish him in charity, to be on his guard against 
the delusive snares, especially of his greatest enemies, pretending to be his 
friends, to beware of the dangers which surround him, and to have recourse 
to prayer for grace from heaven, to enable him to resist and withstand their 
temptations; but, instead of taking advice and returning to a sense of duty, 
he became more hardened and obstinate from day to day, and at length 
totally incorrigible, even so far as to cast off all regard for superior authority, 
and to be no longer subject to the rules and discipline of the Church, and 
still continues to persevere in this disposition : 

Wherefore, with a view to the fulfilment of our duty, according to the 
laws of God and the Church, we have been under the disagreeable necessity 
of performing the most painful task of this day, in cutting off this incurable 
member by the sword of excommunication, from the body of the Catholic 


Church. Our blessed Saviour says, if your hand or foot scandalize you, cut 
il off, and cast it from you, and St. Paul, in his first epistle to the Corinthians, 
desired the evil one to be cut off and put away from among them. 

Hence, in conformity to the precepts and practice of our blessed Lord, 
and his Apostle, and in virtue of our commission, and the authority of binding 
and loosing conferred on us as a successor of the Apostles, — we cut off, by 
the spiritual sword of excommunication, the said William Hogan, as a putrid 
member, lest any of our flock should be led into schism and error, by attend- 
ing the sacrilegious functions of his ministry, and thus treasure up to them- 
selves wrath against the day of wrath; and hence we sequester and excom- 
municate him from the Holy Catholic Church, or from having any share in 
the spiritual treasures and benefits that are to be had in it through the com- 
munion of saints, the holy sacrifice of the Mass, or the prayers and good 
works of the just; and declare him accordingly to be no longer a member 
of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen. 

* HENRY, Bishop of Philadelphia. 

This document was sent, according to request, to Archbishop 
Mareschal, who on 19 June, together with Bishop Cheverus, sent 
the following letter: 

Right Rev. and Dear Sir: I have received the copy of the awful sen- 
tence which you have lately been forced to pronounce against the Rev. William 
Hogan. According to your request, and after a long and serious examination, 
I send you at last my judgment upon it. 

I do look upon the sentence of excommunication which you have pro- 
nounced against the said William Hogan, as perfectly just, and conformable 
in every respect to the canonical laws framed against obstinate and impious 
priests. Far therefore from being any longer a lawful minister of the Catholic 
Church, Mr. Hogan is not even now a simple member of it; and the unfor- 
tunate Trustees who have introduced him into your cathedral, and expelled 
you from it, instead of being the defenders and supporters of the Catholic 
religion, (as they were bound to be by the law of God and the nature of 
their office,) are in reality the enemies and persecutors of it. 
Baltimore, 19 June, 1821. 

* AMB. Arch. Bait. 
To the Rt. Rev. Dr. H. Con well, 

Bishop of Philadelphia. 

The above judgment of our revered Archbishop has my full concurrence 
and approbation. 

+ JOHN, Bishop of Boston. 


The next day, 28 May, the Hogan Trustees ordered "all 
Episcopal insignia to be taken down and removed to a place of 
safety." They also resolved 

that the conduct of Mr. Hurley in having lent himself and his church for so 
infamous, disgraceful and scandalous an act as that which was performed 
there yesterday by Bishop Conwell and his Chapter, merits and receives our 
most decided reprobation, 

They declared in another resolution 

that the Rev. William Hogan had resumed his station as pastor of this 
Church, and that the Rev. Mr. Cummiskey, having absented himself from 
the meetings, be no longer considered as a pastor of St. Mary's, and conse- 
quently not a member of the Board of Trustees, having vacated his seat at 
the Board, and refusing to discharge his pastoral duties in said church. 

At this meeting the Trustees stated and entered on the minutes 
their reasons for sustaining Hogan. "He was guilty," they de- 
clared, "only of a hasty and inconsiderate breach of pastoral 
courtesy, and trivial trespass on a prerogative." The Bishop was 
declared to be "unqualified, perhaps ignorant, acrimonious, censori- 
ous, vindictive, prone to ire, too mindful of petty offences, stubborn 
in error, and inflexible to forgiveness." They dismissed the lay- 
employees of the congregation. 

The schismatic congregation held regular services in St. Mary's 
Church, at which the excommunicated Hogan officiated and 
preached sermons which consisted principally of tirades against the 
Bishop. He published Butler s Catechism, revised and corrected 
by himself. This revision consisted of a chapter on confession and 
indulgences, in which he says, "there is no actual remedy for mortal 
sin but perfect contrition." 

The Trustees in the meantime were struggling frantically to 
secure their position. An address was sent to the "brethren of the 
Roman Catholic faith throughout the United States of America," 
on the subject of "Sundry reforms of abuses, and the administra- 
tion of our Church discipline," in which was contained a proposition 
to form an Independent Catholic Church, claiming exclusive right 


for the Trustees of electing pastors and bishops, and the formation 
of a college for educating persons for Holy Orders. The address 
assured its readers that if these measures were adopted, they would 
secure the approval of the Holy Father. The address was signed 
by John Leamy, Chairman, and John Ashley, Joseph Dugan, 
Michael Doran, Timothy Desmond, Richard W. Meade, Lewis 
Clapier, Thomas Newman, John T. Sullivan, John Savage, Charles 
Taw, Anthony Groves, and Edward Barry. Matthew Carey, 
who had been an ardent supporter of Hogan and his party, now 
issued another address in support of the Bishop's side of the con- 
tention, in which he gave his opinion of the character of those who 
had signed the address, and appealed 

to the candid and dispassionate of every denomination to whom the signers of 
this singular product are known, to examine their names and character. They 
will behold men whose lives have been and still continue to be so notoriously 
scandalous as would disgrace Paganism itself; and others who may not have 
been so openly vicious, but were known to belong to no religious society ; whose 
chief study has been cent for cent; their ledger their bible, and the copy-house 
their church. I assert without fear of contradiction, that of the thirteen 
men who signed their names to the pamphlet, not more than one has received 
the sacraments for several years past, and some of them, according to their 
own acknowledgement, have never received them. Ludicrous as it must appear, 
these are the saints who propose themselves as reformers of the discipline of 
the Church which they profess to believe to be guided by the Holy Ghost. 

Bishop Conwell in writing to Archbishop Mareschal a report 
of the schism in Philadelphia, begged the Archbishop to send to 
Philadelphia the Rev. Samuel Sutherland Cooper, as one who dur- 
ing his short stay in Philadelphia had done much good; "bringing 
many stray members back. He has great influence among Phila- 
delphians; permit him to come to our assistance." He also informed 
the Archbishop that the faithful were subscribing bountifully toward 
"adding to the little holy church of St. Joseph," and that the four 
lawyers engaged by the Bishop's Committee, Messrs. Kittera, Keat- 
ing, Chaney, and Hopkins, declared that the excommunicated could 
be ejected by law from St. Mary's Church, as the charter is for the 
Society of Roman Catholics. 

Administration of Bishop Conwell (Continued). — Bishop 
England. — Decision of the Supreme Court, Adverse 
to Trustees. — Return of Rev. William Harold to 
Philadelphia. — Hoganites and Bishopites. — Brief of 
Pope Pius VII on Hoganism. — Rev. Angelo Inglesi. — 
Hogan Leaves Philadelphia. — Rev. Thaddeus 
O'Mealey. — Bishop's Cemetery. — Hogan Finally 
Discredited and His Later Life. — Review of Hogan- 

I O WARD the end of the year 1821, Bishop Eng- 
land of Charleston, S. C, was dragged into the 
controversy by his efforts to restore peace to St. 
Mary's. He made a visit to Philadelphia early 
in September while Bishop Conwell was absent 
on a Confirmation tour in the western part of the 
State. Hogan, hearing of this visit, followed Bishop England to 
New York, and there had an interview with him in which he gave 
a detailed account of his case, his feelings, and disposition, and 
pledged himself to abide by Bishop England's decision, if Dr. 
Conwell could be prevailed on to leave the examination to him. 
The disturber was accompanied by the Rev. A. O'Hannan, late 
of the Diocese of Limerick. The Bishop, in his desire to serve 
religion, readily believed in the protestations of Hogan and O'Han- 
nan, and received the latter into his Diocese as a subject, arming 
him then with a letter of recommendation and appointing him inter- 
mediary between himself and Bishop Conwell to secure the latter's 
consent to have the Hogan case arbitrated by Bishop England. 
O'Hannan, however, on his return to Philadelphia, appeared in 
a surplice in St. Mary's Church, in a service at which Hogan 


Bishop England, persisting in his intention, came to Philadel- 
phia at the end of the month, and received a committee of Ho- 
ganites, Messrs. Leamy, Ashley, and Fagan, who waited to "solicit 
his good offices in reconciling the differences." Bishop England 
received power from Bishop Conwell to absolve and reconcile Ho- 
gan on condition of his retirement forever from Philadelphia. The 
matter was thus left to Bishop England, and Bishop Conwell pro- 
ceeded to Canada, to procure funds for enlarging St. Joseph's 
Church, and to secure some Ursuline nuns whom he wished to 
locate in Philadelphia, in a convent on the site of the Vaux Hall 
Gardens, at the N. E. corner of Broad and Walnut Streets. Three 
wealthy Philadelphia women had announced themselves as anxious 
to join such a community, each of them giving $10,000 toward 
the establishment of the convent. The property at Broad and 
Walnut Streets was purchased by Bishop Conwell, but sold again 
a year later by him for $22,000 (a handsome advance on the 
price he had paid for it) . This site, "located on an eminence and 
quite airy," was considered too far out of town. "There were not 
a hundred dwellings west of Broad Street, most of them two and 
one-half story frames. Most of the space from Chestnut to Spruce 
Street, and Broad to the Schuylkill were lots, brick-ponds and 
working brick-yards." 

Bishop England, believing Hogan's protestations, absolved 
him from censures, and received him as priest into the Diocese of 
Charleston, after he had professed himself on his knees, in the 
presence of the Rev. John Power and the Rev. A. O'Hannan, to 
hold to the Roman Catholic Faith, to be contrite for his improper 
publication, and had promised to fulfil the injunctions of the Holy 
See, and to obey Bishop England's judgment and decision on his 
case and conduct. The next day Hogan delivered the keys of the 
tabernacle of St. Mary's to the Bishop, and the Rev. Mr. Cooper 
removed the Blessed Sacrament from that church to St. Joseph's. 
Whether Hogan was sincere or not is a doubtful question. The 
Trustees paid a visit to Bishop England, and requested him to 
say Mass in St. Mary's, and explain the situation to the con- 
gregation there, as Hogan had promised on a previous Sunday 


to adhere to the Trustees under all circumstances. Bishop Eng- 
land, however, could not go to St. Mary's, and to his amazement on 
Saturday night he was informed that Hogan had made arrange- 
ments to say Mass at St. Mary's himself. Bishop England, after 
attempting to persuade Hogan to leave Philadelphia over Sunday 
on the threat of excommunication if he should celebrate Mass, re- 
ceived from Hogan his resignation as a priest of the Charleston 
Diocese, and next day Hogan said Mass in St. Mary's. He was 
therefore again under censure, excommunicated and without juris- 
diction, as he belonged to the diocese. Bishop England then left 
Philadelphia, having secured for himself the usual portion of vol- 
unteer peacemakers, the antagonism of both sides of the controversy. 
In the meantime the Supreme Court handed down its decision 
in the matter of amending the Charter of St. Mary's, declaring 
that it was 

decidedly of the opinion that the resolution in favor of altering the charter 
passed in the absence of Mr. Cummiskey, was unlawful, that the clergy were 
a distinct class of the corporation, and had not consented to the resolution 
in question. 

In giving his decision Chief Justice Tilghman said: 

Something was said in the argument of the danger of a foreign head of 
an American Church. But our laws have expressed no apprehension of any 
such danger, and if our Roman Catholic brethren do in their conscience believe 
that the power of conferring or withdrawing the sacred rights of the clergy 
has been handed down in sure succession from the holy Apostle St. Peter to 
the present Pontiff, Pius VII, the people of the United States of America 
have seen nothing in this belief either criminal or dangerous, neither has it 
been remarked that during our revolutionary struggle or on any trying occasion 
since, the members of that Church have been less patriotic than their fellow- 
Christians of other denominations. Their priests, therefore, are entitled and 
will receive the same protection as other clergy. 

Exactly one year after Bishop Conwell's arrival in Philadel- 
phia, there arrived another actor in this unfortunate controversy, 
the Rev. William Harold. Bishop Conwell, ignorant of Harold's 


record while stationed at St. Mary's, and his reasons for leaving 
the Diocese in 1813, and influenced by the thought that the Hogan 
adherents might be drawn from him by their attachment for their 
former favorite, invited Father Harold to return to Philadelphia. 
Having learned, however, the particulars of Harold's stormy career, 
the Bishop tried in vain to prevent his coming, and when Harold 
arrived in Philadelphia, he was received very coldly. Nothing 
daunted, Harold entered into the battle in favor of the Bishop, 
and by inflammatory sermons and vituperative pamphlets caused 
the fire to blaze with tenfold fury. From his arrival in December, 
the controversy became a contest between two proud priests for the 
pastorship of the largest and richest congregation in the United 

Bishop Conwell's mission in Canada had been successful in 
the matter of securing funds for the church improvement, if we may 
judge from his letters sent to the Right Rev. Bishop Plessis and 
the clergy of Quebec, but he failed in securing a community of 
Ursulines; and so the three wealthy young ladies, whose names he 
does not record, proceeded to Quebec to join the community there. 

Bishopites and Hoganites began the year 1822 with vigorous 
preparations for the election which was to take place at Easter- 
time. The Bishopites, reinforced by the astute politician, William 
Harold, deluged the community with pamphlets, of most of which 
he was the author. But if he had forgotten his past experience 
with Bishop Egan, the Hoganites proved themselves very mindful 
of Harold's rebellion against episcopal authority, and their pamph- 
lets reviewed in detail his acts against Bishop Egan, that had 
brought on him the condemnation of the Church, and they effectively 
ridiculed his present jealousy of episcopal authority. The Hogan- 
ites also paid Father Harold the compliment of using the very 
methods which had made successful the election of his supporters 
in 1813. As the Supreme Court decision prevented the Trustees 
from excluding the clergy, they placed fourteen additional pews in 
the church, and twelve in the galleries. As each pew seated five 
persons, and each of these was entitled to a vote at the coming 
election, by renting the pews to loyal Hoganites 130 fresh votes 


were secured. The election was held on Easter Tuesday, 9 April, 
1822. The judges and inspectors on the part of the Hoganites 
were Bernard McCready, Barney Quinn, Felix McGuigan, Charles 
Baisley, Edward Barry, B. Gallagher, Joseph Blame, William 
McGlinchey, Michael Keough, Timothy Desmond, Peter Snyder, 
and Joseph Harrison. On the part of the Bishopites the officers 
of election were Philip Smith, Hugh Cavanaugh, Lewis Ryan, 
James Brady, and Thomas Maitland. On the morning of the 
election Fourth Street was filled with an excited crowd of the con- 
gregation of St. Mary's, and outsiders drawn thither by curiosity. 
Both parties were inflamed by the pamphlets that had been pub- 
lished almost incessantly for months before. The Bishopite judges 
were ensconced within the churchyard long before eleven o'clock, 
the hour for the opening of the polls. The Hoganites on the out- 
side of the railing fought furiously to obtain possession of the church. 
A riot ensued, and in the contention the iron railing was pulled 
down, and the bricks of the walls used as missies. About two 
hundred persons were wounded and were taken to Mellon's Drug 
Store, at the N. E. corner of Fourth and Walnut Streets, and to 
another drug store at Fourth and Pine Streets. Hogan and his 
friends looked on at the disgraceful scene from the office of a 
dentist named Plantou, at the N. W. corner of Fourth and Prune 
(now Locust) Streets. The Bishop and Fathers Harold, Cooper, 
McGirr, and Kenny, stood at Fourth Street and Willing's Alley 
while the riot was in progress. Mayor Wharton, the Sheriff, and 
officers of the city appeared on the scene, and peace was finally 
restored. The judges stationed themselves at the windows of the 
church at eleven o'clock to receive the votes; the Hoganite judges 
at the north and the Bishopites at the south windows. When the 
closing hour, one o'clock, came, the Hoganites reported a majority 
of 287 votes for the Hoganite candidates, and the Bishopites re- 
ported a majority of 435 votes for their candidates. As each party 
claimed the victory of the election, there were now two sets of Trus- 
tees. The Bishopite Trustees were Joseph Snyder, John Carrell, 
Sr., Cornelius Tiers, Dennis McCready, Nicholas Stafford, William 
Myers, Nicholas Esling, James Eneu, Sr., and the Hoganite Trus- 


tees were John Leamy, John Ashley, Joseph Strahan, John Doyle, 
Patrick Connell, John Dempsey, Augustin Fagan, and Joseph Du- 
gan, the last-named being chosen Treasurer of the Board. The 
local papers, and the New York, Baltimore, and Washington 
journals, contained accounts of the riot. Surely an edifying com- 
mentary on the City of Brotherly Love! 

To settle the dispute between the two parties, a committee of 
the Hoganites and another of the Bishopites met in May, and 
agreed upon Horace Binney and Clement C. Biddle as arbiters, 
and empowered them to select a "distinguished stranger** to act as 
umpire. They named the Hon. Thomas Cadwallader "to receive 
the signatures of all the pewholders, the majority of such signatures 
to determine who were to be Trustees for the ensuing year.'* Judge 
Cadwallader*s decision was that 497 votes had been cast for the 
Hoganite Trustees, and 437 votes for the Bishopites. The Hogan- 
ites triumphed, because Judge Cadwallader finally decided to ad- 
mit all the pew-holders, which included the holders of the new 
pews, and Hogan's friends were thus confirmed in their control of 
the church. The decision, of course, could not affect Hogan's 
priestly standing, as he was still canonically incapable of officiating 
as a priest. The members of the congregation loyal to the Bishop 
set forth these conditions in a letter addressed to the Hoganite Trus- 
tees, in a futile attempt to remedy the decision by an appeal to 
their religious sense. The names signed to this appeal makes a list 
of the leading loyal Catholics of the time : Charles O'Hara, Joseph 
Snyder, John Carrell, Augustin Bosquet, John Keating, Patrick 
Mealy, Nicholas Esling, Joseph Donath, Charles Mulvey, Hugh 
Cavanaugh, Cornelius Tiers, William Myers, Lewis Ryan, Charles 
Johnson, James Eneu, Jeremiah Nicholas, Geraldus Stockdale, 
Thomas Maitland, Philip Smith, Michael Durney, Peter Scraven- 
dyke, John Maitland, Dennis McCready, James Brady, Dennis 
Crowen, John Saulnier, Timothy Cummin, James McCann, Dennis 
Brady (attorney for P. K. Callon), and John McDermott. 

The condition of Catholicity in Philadelphia is learned from a 
letter of Bishop Conwell's, 4 July, 1822, to Archbishop Plessis, 
in which he says: 


The non-catholics retain still the possession of St. Mary's by violence, 
aided by the prejudices of all descriptions and sects, but the good Catholics 
of this city are every day becoming better Christians, so that I can declare 
that we have had more communions this year than there have been formerly 
in three years. 

On 1 1 July, at St. Augustine's Church, Bishop Conwell ordained 
to the priesthood, James Smith and Michael DeBurgo Egan, 
nephew of the late Bishop Egan. In October the Bishop ordained 
Patrick Rafferty, afterwards the founder of St. Francis Church, 

In November the Hoganites began the publishing of a paper 
in their interests, called The Catholic Herald and Weekly Register, 
and in the following February, 1823, The Catholic Advocate and 
Irishman s Journal was begun in the interests of the Bishop. As 
there seemed no hope of reconciliation, the Propaganda assigned 
to Bishop Conwell the parish of St. Mary's, Lancaster, as mensal 
for his support. 

In the month of August, 1 822, a brief arrived from Pope Pius 
VII addressed to "Archbishop Mareschal and his suffragan Bishops 
our beloved children, administrators of the temporalities of churches, 
and to all the faithful of the United States of America," in which 
the Pope declared the "sentence of excommunication justly pro- 
nounced against him [Hogan] by his Bishop," and deplored the 
usurpation of authority by the Trustees and the support given by 
Catholics to 

this most abandoned priest Hogan, who despising and subverting the laws of 
the Church, has constituted himself judge of his own Prelate, and has pre- 
sumed to lacerate his reputation by many defamatory writings, and does not 
blush to administer the sacraments, to perform all parochial functions, and 
daily to profane by an impious and sacrilegious celebration of the most holy 
mysteries, rendering himself publicly guilty of the Body and Blood of our 
Lord. These are certainly execrable deeds. 

The Trustees ought to bear in mind that the properties that have been 
secured for divine worship, for the support of the Church and the maintain- 
ence of its ministers, fall under the power of the Church, and since the 
Bishops by Divine appointment preside over their respective churches, they 


cannot by any means be excluded from the care, superintendence and adminis- 
tration of these properties. If the Trustees were to administer the temporali- 
ties of the Church in union of heart and mind with the Bishop, everything 
would be performed peaceably and according to order. But that trustees 
and laymen should arrogate to themselves the right of establishing for Pastors, 
Priests destitute of legal faculties, and even bound by censures (as it appears 
was lately the case with regard to Hogan) and also of removing them at their 
pleasure, is a practice new and unheard of in the Church. 

On the day this document was publicly read in all the churches 
of the city, Hogan announced his submission and applied for an 
exeat. He submitted to the sentence and decision of His Holiness, 
and engaged in writing to leave Philadelphia. Bishop Conwell then 
consented to absolve him from censure. The negotiations were 
made through Father Harold, but Hogan, being wrought upon by 
the more aggressive of his adherents, was influenced to continue 
the struggle, and wrote to Father Harold that he would not submit 
On Sunday, 1 7 December, Father Harold went to St. Mary's and 
began to say Mass. Hogan appeared and attempted to preach, 
although Harold, in the name of the Bishop, forbade him. A 
scene of confusion in the congregation followed. 

At the end of the year 1 822 the Legislature was again memo- 
rialized by the pew-holders of St. Mary's, who asked authoriza- 
tion for amendments to the charter. This was called "The Catholic 
Bill," and came up for consideration in March, 1823. 

Bishop England's paper, The Catholic Miscellany, of 1 8 De- 
cember, 1822, says: 

There is not on the continent of America a body of persons professing 
Christianity who are more palpably, and we fear more inexorably, opposed 
to the doctrines and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church, than the con- 
gregation of that once Catholic Church. 

In the year 1823 public meetings were held by Catholics in 
New York and Baltimore, in which resolutions were passed and 
signed by the most prominent men in these cities, condemning Hogan 
and Hoganism, and upholding Bishop Conwell in his course. About 
the same time the bill known as "The Catholic Bill" for amending 


the charter of 1 788 of St. Mary's Church" passed the House by 
a vote of 47 ayes to 37 nays, and 23 March, 1823, it passed the 
Senate by a majority of one. Governor Hiester was deluged with 
protests from the Bishopites and public-spirited men of all denom- 
inations, who recognized the principle that "the Constitution pro- 
hibits the legislature from becoming a political reformer of religion," 
and therefore, on 27 March, he vetoed the Bill. The Senate, how- 
ever, endeavored to carry the Bill over the Governor's veto, but 

The election for Trustees was held in Easter week of 1823. 
There were no acts of violence, but the adherents of each party 
appointed their own election officers. The Hoganites received the 
votes in the church and the Bishopites on a tomb in the graveyard. 
The Hoganites declared as elected John Ashley, John Leamy, 
R. W. Meade, John T. Sullivan, Edward B. Barry, Archibald 
Randall, Bernard Gallagher, and Anthony Groves, and proclaimed 
the Rev. William Hogan as pastor of the church. The Bishopites 
declared as elected Trustees Bishop Con well, the Revs. W. V. 
Harold, and James Cummiskey, the pastors of the church, and 
Joseph Snyder, Dennis McCready, Cornelius Tiers, John Conwell, 
Jr., William Myers, James Eneu, Sr., Jerome Keating, and Nich- 
olas Stafford. 

The Hoganites, although the church was burdened with a 
debt of $300, resolved to raise Hogan's salary to $1,000 a year, 
and allow him $300 a year for house rent. Trustees Meade, Ash- 
ley, and Leamy were appointed a committee to secure an assistant 
for Hogan. One was secured named Weldon, of whom nothing is 
known except that in a short time he "eloped with a wife." 

On 29 April, 1823, Bishop Conwell applied for his first 
naturalization papers, and full citizenship was given him, 26 Janu- 
ary, 1 826, when John Keating acted as his voucher. 

It will be noticed that some new men were elected amongst the 
Trustees. Perhaps some of the Board had grown less violent in 
their advocacy of Hogan, or there may have been some of his ad- 
herents who burned with a desire to become Trustees, and solve 
the difficult situation. R. W. Meade, the newly-elected Trustee, 


whose diplomatic career had been very successful, tried to remedy 
the schism by propositions for reconciliation to Bishop Conwell; 
but as the proposed reconciliation rested on the recognition by the 
Bishop of the Trustees' right to appoint pastors, nothing came of 
it. It is notable that while in the beginning of the schism there 
was no question of principle among the Hoganites, their cohesion 
consisting solely in futhering Hogan and his advantage, after two 
years, as the Meade correspondence shows, the Trustees professed 
their schism to rest on the principle that in the United States laymen 
have the right to appoint bishops and priests, and legislate in ecclesi- 
astical questions as well as in temporalities. 

In August, 1823, both sides of the deplorable schism seem to 
have lost fervor. The Trustees were heavily encumbered with debt. 
There were 224 pews in St. Mary's Church, 59 of these being 
held by the Bishopites ; but pew-rents were not being paid. Bishop 
Conwell and his priests were obliged to subsist on the voluntary 
offerings of the faithful. They had no secured revenue, and the 
Bishop's correspondence shows that he frequently applied and re- 
ceived aid from the Archbishop of Quebec, and sought also to be 
translated to some See in Ireland. 

At this time, late in August, the Trustees in their search for 
an assistant for Hogan, flattered themselves that they had secured 
a way of ending the schism. The Rev. Angelo Inglesi, who had 
lately arrived in Philadelphia, agreed to take St. Mary's Church, 
if Hogan would resign. To the Trustees this appeared a compromise 
which the Bishop would surely accept. On Inglesi's application 
to Vicar-General Harold, acting in the place of Bishop Conwell, 
who had gone to Canada, 1 5 August, he was refused faculties and 
threatened with excommunication if he should celebrate in St. 
Mary's Church. Harold's action in the matter was justified by 
Inglesi's reputation. He was an Italian adventurer who had im- 
posed on Bishop DuBourg of New Orleans, and, having deceived 
that prelate by forged letters and plausible statements, was ordained 
by him and sent to Europe on a mission of collecting money and 
vestments for the Diocese of New Orleans. He had been received 
by the officials at Rome and loaded with valuable gifts and money 


by the crowned heads of Europe, but finally exposed and expelled 
from Italy by Cardinal Consalvi. This man was a typical speci- 
men of those misguided clerics who, having left their countries for 
their country's good, swarmed into the new United States, and 
either hoped to escape exposure through the precarious and slow 
communication with the old world, or trusted at least to avert ex- 
posure until they could secure some booty and decamp. Inglesi's 
record came swiftly enough to upset his plans in Philadelphia, but 
the Trustees in the meantime made capital of their frustrated 
attempts at compromise with the Bishop. 

The tension of the situation now demanded relief. Hogan's 
laxity of conduct, as well as his addiction to intoxicating drink, was 
disgusting to even his former foremost adherents. In October the 
Rev. Thaddeus O'Mealey, of the Diocese of Limerick, who had 
been pastor for one year at Falmouth, England, and who had been 
invited by Hogan to act as assistant to him, arrived in Philadelphia. 
His papers were not satisfactory, and therefore the Bishop refused 
him faculties. The Hoganite Trustees of St. Mary's elected 
O'Mealey as one of their pastors, however, and to the relief of 
Hoganites and Bishopites, Hogan suddenly abandoned St. Mary's 
and sailed for Liverpool from Newcastle, Delaware, on the same 
ship that had brought O'Mealey to America. 

From 20 May, 1821, to 20 November, 1823, Hogan had 
been engaged at St. Mary's, and during these two years and six 
months had received as salary from the Trustees $2,733.50. On 
Hogan's flight O'Mealey was promoted to presiding pastor of the 
schismatic congregation, at a salary of $1 ,000 a year, and $300 
allowance for house rent. When Bishop Conwell returned from 
Lancaster in November, he admonished O'Mealey twice of his in- 
subordination in officiating at St. Mary's, and on 7 December 
excommunicated him publicly in a document which was read in all 
the churches. O'Mealey appealed from this excommunication to 
Rome. In January, 1824, Bishop England of Charleston tried 
again, but in vain, to settle the schism. After correspondence with 
O'Mealey, which Bishop Conwell bitterly resented, for the second 
time Bishop England found that there was a limitation of jurisdic- 


tion to peacemakers. The Trustees now made another futile attempt 
to secure permission from the Legislature to amend the charter, but 
the Legislature had learned its lesson, and refused to interfere. 

In March, 1824, Hogan returned from Liverpool and settled 
in Charleston. He wrote to the Trustees of St. Mary's Church, 
resigning his charge, but they answered him that his precipitous flight 
and abandonment in the previous October had rendered any state- 
ment of resignation unnecessary. 

The Propaganda had proposed to Bishop Conwell that, since 
the schism at St. Mary's, which had deprived him of his cathedral- 
church, threatened to be enduring, he should provide for himself 
and his Diocese by building a new cathedral and purchasing a 
graveyard. The congregation at St. Joseph's had increased won- 
derfully, and large numbers, disgusted at the un-Catholic conduct of 
the Trustees and Hogan's scandalous attacks, returned to their al- 
legiance to the Bishop. The enlarged St. Joseph's now became 
too small for the crowded congregations. One hundred and fifteen 
pews in the church rented for ten, fifteen and twenty dollars a 
year. This income formed the main subsistence of the Bishop, who 
was assisted by the Rev. William V. Harold, Vicar General ; John 
J. Ryan, J. Fitzpatrick, and James Cummiskey. 

The schismatic Trustees had control of the two cemeteries, 
the churchyard and the new cemetery which had been purchased 
in 1800, at Thirteenth and Spruce Streets. On 19 May, 1824, 
the Trustees received a complaint from the Board of Health con- 
cerning the mode of interment in the cemetery on Thirteenth Street 
below Spruce Street. It was doubtless becoming overcrowded, 
and Messrs. Keith and Connell were appointed a committee to 
procure a lot suitable for a burial-ground. They accordingly pro- 
cured an option on a plot of ground on the corner of what are now 
Washington and Passyunk Avenues. The June meeting, however, 
showed the Trustees that they were in financial straits, with debts 
amounting to $5,286.04. The yearly income was estimated at 
only $3,285.33, while the yearly expenses were in excess of that 
amount. Even by reducing the salaries of the schismatic pastors 
and others $500, they were still in bad financial condition, and 


they were glad, therefore, to effect by an amicable arrangement the 
transfer of their option to the Bishop's representatives. This fitted in 
with the prelate's plan to secure a cemetery of his own, and ac- 
cordingly, 15 September, 1824, a deed was made transferring the 
legal title from Charles Johnson and Catharine, his wife, and 
Dennis McCready and Margaret, his wife, to the Right Rev. 
Henry Conwell. The plot had been purchased from James Paul 
and his wife by these, for a consideration of $1,000, and the piece 
of ground is described as situated on the north-westerly side of 
Passyunk Road, and on the north side of Love Lane or Prime 
Street (now Washington Avenue) in Moyamensing Township, 
running north to the land of William Tidmarsh, and running west 
to Eighth Street. This afterwards became known as the Bishop's 
Graveyard, and was in late days the cause of a long and tedious 
lawsuit, Bishop Conwell's heirs claiming it as his personal prop- 
erty, while the Jesuits withstood their demands, claiming it was 
held by the Bishop in trust, and therefore part of the property of 
St. Joseph's Church. The suit terminated in favor of the Jesuits. 
In the same year, 1824, St. Augustine's parish secured ground also 
for a cemetery, by the purchase of a lot of 180 feet on Sixteenth 
Street by 227 feet on St. Andrew's Street (now Wallace Street). 
Hoganism had virtually died out with the chief actor's de- 
parture from Philadelphia in November, 1823. His successor, 
O'Mealey, had neither the magnetism nor the ability of Hogan. 
The evident relief at the latter's departure was expressed by the 
Trustees and his former ardent supporters on their riddance of one 
whom they now designated as "the vilest villain that had ever come 
to America." This was not calculated to soothe the pride of the 
deposed idol. Whatever his reception may have been in Europe, 
he returned almost immediately to America, and as his tentative 
overture from Charleston had met with the instant acceptance of 
his resignation, he decided on making a frantic effort to regain his 
prestige as the leader of the faction. Accordingly, in the summer 
of 1824 Hogan returned to Philadelphia from Charleston, arriv- 
ing 25 June. His first move was to eject O'Mealey from his house 
at Fourth and Spruce Streets, and announce in the papers that 


the next day he would deliver a charity sermon in St. Mary's for 
the benefit of the children. The Trustees protested in the afternoon 
papers that he had no right in the church, and on Sunday, O'Mealey 
appeared at St. Mary's, and said Mass, attended by the Trustees 
and the High Constable. Hogan appeared at the services morn- 
ing and afternoon, but there was no disturbance, as the Trustees 
had taken measures to keep the peace. From that date until Au- 
gust, when Hogan sailed for Wilmington, N. C, he preached in 
the Opera House, in a German Lutheran church, in a Baptist 
church, in a Mariner's church, and in one of the Presbyterian 
churches. These sermons were invectives against the doctrine 
and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. The Trustees 
of St. Mary's, however, refused to have anything to do with him. 
Hogan published several letters in the National Gazette, side by 
side with the editorial comment that they were curiosities. In 
one of these he proposed that the congregation of St. Mary's should 
form themselves into an American Catholic Church, on the lines 
of the Greek schismatics, laying particular stress on the modera- 
tion of confession in the Greek Church, and their approval of a 
married clergy. His suggestion for the establishment of such a 
church seems to have met with little or no favor, even from the 
small faction which still adhered to him, while his old friends the 
Trustees were openly defiant. They ordered that any vestments 
or other property of Hogan's remaining in their control should be 
given up to him, and that he should be requested to hand in anything 
belonging to the corporation yet in his possession. 

Early in August, Hogan, entirely discredited and the sub- 
ject of abuse from those who had supported him, sailed from 
Newcastle, Del., for Wilmington, N. C, where on 9 August, 
1 824, he was married to a young widow, Mrs. Henrietta McKay. 
In addition to her personal charms, Mrs. McKay had the attractive 
merit of owning property. Hogan studied law and preached in 
Protestant churches. On 1 January, 1826, the woman whom he 
married died, aged twenty-two years, and on 21 March, Hogan 
was admitted to the practice of law in the courts of South Caro- 
lina. Later in that year, 4 October, the New York and New 


Jersey papers published an account of the late reverend gentleman, 
describing his arrest and imprisonment in New York, and how his 
friends had liberated him on habeas corpus proceedings. He was 
placed on board a vessel bound for Liverpool, but he compelled 
the captain to put him on board the pilot-boat, from which he was 
transferred to a boat bound for Charleston. On 28 January, 1 828, 
Hogan married another wealthy young widow, Mrs. Lydia White 
Gardner, of Peterboro, New Hampshire. From the date of this 
marriage there is no record of his career until 1842, when he went 
to Boston and was engaged in politics and journalism, becoming 
Clerk of the Custom House, and editor of the Daily American. 
He was appointed United States Consul to Nuevitas, Cuba, in 
October, 1843. He published several books, the titles of which 
indicate their contents and his state of mind and soul, Popery as it 
Was and Is, Nunneries and Confession, High and Low Mass 
(which was published in Nashville, 1846). He died in Nashua, 
New Hampshire, 23 January, 1848. 

Hogan is but a name to this generation, and Hoganism a mem- 
ory, but there is in his career the lesson which is read wherever pride 
makes itself self-sufficient. Hogan had good points, and under 
discipline in his earlier years might have overcome his evil tendencies, 
but his lot unfortunately was cast in an environment that fostered 
the evil in him. His pride was flattered by the attentions of those 
in a higher worldly position than he had been accustomed to. His 
lack of education and shallowness of thought were concealed by 
flippancy of speech and pertness of expression. A nimble native 
wit and ready memory that supplied Biblical and Shakespearean 
quotations in abundance, a pleasing personality, and the pose of 
a martyr to authority, were his stock-in-trade, and these blinded 
many to his immoral acts, or made the report of these seem to be 
unjust attacks of the enemy. Probably neither Hogan nor his 
followers realized the lengths to which their first acts would lead, 
but when the heat of the controversy and the desire for victory 
had carried them to extremes, their pride would not allow retro- 
gression and reparation, but made them persist in an endeavor to 
defend their cause, by advocating the most outrageous principles. 


In the passing years it has become general to consider Hogan- 
ism as a fearful blow to Catholicity in Philadelphia, and Hogan 
as a brilliant but evil leader who caused irreparable harm by lead- 
ing thousands of innocent souls away from the Church. The facts 
of the case show that Hogan was simply a poor unfortunate instru- 
ment in the hands of men who had no real faith, and who were 
for the most part only nominal Catholics. The brutal attacks on 
the aged Bishop, the blasphemous declarations in the pamphlets 
published at the time, the low tricks by which success was sought, 
the supporting of sacrilegious services, and the outraging of the 
House of God by violent quarrels, the profession of the Protestant 
principle that the laity should be superior to the clergy in spirituals as 
well as temporalities — all show what calibre of men were the authors 
and the aiders and abettors of Hoganism. Their defection was 
a distinct gain rather than a loss to the Church. 

On the other hand, these very outrages served to strengthen 
the faith of the real Catholics of the time, and revealed to those 
who had mistakenly espoused Hogan's cause in the beginning, the 
true condition of affairs, and brought them back in penance to their 
lawful head. The much-tried Bishop Conwell deserves the ad- 
miration of all fair-minded men for his firm stand for principle. He 
made many mistakes in his administration, but his staunchness for 
the principle that the government of the Church belongs to the 
clergy and not to the laity, won for the Church in America the 
victory over the Trustee system which had caused so much trouble 
to Bishop Carroll and Bishop Egan, and which threatened disaster 
wherever it prevailed, because the Church administration was 
opened by it to unscrupulous and irreligious men, if they could secure 
enough votes to put them in power. 

The popular estimate of Bishop Conwell that has come down 
to our time, has been based generally on the Hoganite literature of 
the day, and principally on the idiotically illiterate and brutally 
vulgar "sermons" published by the Hoganites as having been de- 
livered by the Bishop. Bishop Conwell was an educated gentle- 
man. His acts were dignified, and his official documents and per- 
sonal letters still extant are couched in elegant English. He was a 


fluent French scholar, as his voluminous correspondence in that lan- 
guage shows. Had he remained in Ireland his administration would 
have been peaceful and successful; but, coming to a new country, 
at an advanced age, and to an unfamiliar environment, he was 
plunged into a situation so strange that he was at first bewildered. 
He was accustomed to men of sterling Catholic faith, and to a 
church government that had been perfected in its centuries' growth. 
He was thus handicapped in facing an insubordinate priest with an 
unscrupulous following, permeated by revolutionary principles. 
Bishop Conwell's cardinal mistake was in not exposing Hogan's 
real character in the very beginning by suspending him for the mis- 
demeanors committed before the Bishop's arrival. But the old 
Bishop's gentleness and his desire for peace, and his high estimate 
of Catholic esprit de corps, made him loath to begin his admin- 
istration by an act of rigor and an exposure of scandal. He there- 
fore tried by gentle admonitions to move Hogan and avert a scandal. 
Even when he was obliged to take notice of Hogan's public defi- 
ance of these admonitions, he made the latter's overt acts the appar- 
ent cause of the suspension, rather than declare the real cause, which 
was Hogan's unpriestly conduct. Had these been made known in 
the public trial, Hogan's supporters would have been left without 
a pretext, and public opinion would have prevented the lamentable 
issue. But who can find fault with the gentle old prelate who acted 
for what he thought was the good of the community? Hogan's 
after-acts and his followers' outrages serve but to bring into relief 
Bishop Conwell's virtue and the high principles for which he stood 
at such tremendous cost. 

Administration of Bishop Conwell (Continued) . — Trus- 
tee Troubles Again. — The Rev. Fr. O'Mealey's Re- 
cantation at Rome. — Bishop Kenrick's Settlement 
With Trustees. — "The Vindicators of the Catholic 
Religion from Calumny and Abuse." — Ordinations. 
— Trouble With Father Harold. — Trustee Settle- 
ment Condemned by Rome. — End of Trusteeism. — 
Bishop Conwell in Rome. — Baltimore Council. — Ap- 
pointment of Bishop Kenrick as Co-adjutor of 
Philadelphia. — Recall of Bishop Conwell. 

IT became evident to all the community after the 
departure of Hogan from Philadelphia that the 
schism was disintegrated. Some few of a faction 
adhered to him still, but the Trustees would have 
nothing to do with him. While loosely united in 
opposition to the Bishop, and in support of the 
basic principles of the struggle, the schismatics were nevertheless a 
house divided against itself. They eagerly grasped at any possible 
manner of effecting a compromise that might bring peace, but as 
these proposed compromises always included the surrender by the 
Bishop of his right as pastor of St. Mary's, and the maintaining 
by the Trustees of their right of presentation, nothing was effected. 
The Rev. Gabriel Richards, of Detroit, Michigan, the only 
Catholic priest who was ever elected to the House of Representa- 
tives, was seized on by the Trustees during his visit to Philadelphia, 
and prevailed on to propose a compromise to the Bishop. But as 
Father Richards had not been authorized by the Bishop, and as 
the latter pointed out in his correspondence on the subject to the 
Trustees that the proposition had not included any reparation of 


the grievous scandal given by the schismatics, and had included the 
retaining of the schismatic O'Mealey as pastor, the Bishop of 
course could not entertain the proposition. The Right Rev. Ed- 
ward Fenwick, of Cincinnati, Ohio, became embroiled in the con- 
troversy in the same manner, in an attempt to secure peace at St. 
Mary's. O'Mealey, however, was not of the temperament to lead 
even schismatics, and within the year the congregation practically 
abandoned the attending of his services at St. Mary's. Neverthe- 
less, he had sufficient intelligence to discern the imminent failure of 
the schism, and, emulating the example of more illustrious men, ar- 
ranged for himself a successful retreat. He had little difficulty in 
convincing the Trustees that as their compromises had been rejected 
by the Bishop, the one way to procure at the same time peace and 
their pretensions was for him to submit the case to Rome. Ac- 
cordingly, in April, 1825, O'Mealey left for Rome to plead the 
cause of the Trustees. During the year and five months in which 
he had been at St. Mary's he had been paid $2,146.39. Toward 
the expense of his trip to Rome Edward Barry, a Trustee, ad- 
vanced $400, and R. W. Meade $100. Part of these expenses 
was $40 for translating documents, and $75 for printing. O'Mealey 
reached Rome 15 July, 1825, and the Propaganda of course re- 
fused to receive him as an envoy of the Trustees. He therefore 
made a formal submission to the Church, and recanted. This dec- 
laration professing and proclaiming that he renounced forever "the 
faction at St. Mary's and their schismatic proceedings," and im- 
ploring pardon and forgiveness from the Most Rev. Henry Con- 
well of Philadelphia for all the transgressions committed against his 
authority, was sent to Bishop Conwell and to the Archbishop at 
Baltimore, and were published in the newspapers throughout the 
country. O'Mealey, after his reconciliation at Rome, returned to 
Ireland, and was appointed to the Cathedral at Dublin. After 
some years in Malta and in England, he became editor, in 1861, 
of the Christian Social Economist in Dublin. He died in that city, 
2 January, 1877, at the age of 84, being at that time Chaplain to 
the Presentation nuns. 


On 27 November, 1825, the property of St. Mary's Church, 
which had been vested in the Rev. Francis Neale, S. J., of St. 
Thomas Manor, Maryland, was conveyed to Bishop Conwell for a 
consideration of five shillings. 

In May, 1826, the Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Leo XII, 
which had been celebrated at Rome the year before, was pro- 
claimed to the whole world, and published by Bishop Conwell in 
Philadelphia, with a most touching appeal to those of his children 
who were endangering their souls by their schismatic attitude to the 

The Bishop had been accused by his enemies of "obstinacy** 
and by his friends of a "mistaken firmness of will*' because of his 
inflexible attitude in standing out against the propositions of the 
Trustees, and his refusal to compromise. As has been seen, these 
compromises invariably included the vexed question of the Bishop's 
authority either explicity or implicitly, and therefore could not be 
accepted by the Bishop. The Trustees had more than once indi- 
cated their threat to establish an independent church, and the 
Bishop at this stage entered upon an unexpected and ill- 
advised course, which however had a most fortunate termination, 
and which brought upon him what seemed to be the just condemna- 
tion of even his fellow-bishops in the Hierarchy. The step made 
a martyr of him, but the event justified it as the one method possible 
of bringing about the complete destruction of the Trustee system in 

The schismatic Trustees were elected in March, 1 826, without 
opposition, as the adherents of the Bishop made no contest. The 
newly-constituted Board immediately made advances for recon- 
ciliation with the Bishop, and to the astonishment of all, even the 
Trustees themselves, the Bishop agreed to a meeting with their com- 
mittee, Messrs. Meade, Ashley, and Randall, to arrange a com- 
promise. After several meetings the following agreement was 
signed by both parties: 

Whereas, for some years past unhappy differences have existed between 
the Bishop of Philadelphia and the congregation of St Mary's Church in 


the said city; and whereas the parties have agreed amicably to settle all their 
disputes, and to restore harmony and union to the Roman Catholic Church 
in the said city: 

Now know ye, that the following articles are mutually agreed upon, set- 
tled and determined, between the Rt Rev. Henry Conwell, Bishop of Phila- 
delphia, of the one part, and the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Society, 
worshipping at the Church of St. Mary's, in the city of Philadelphia, of the 
other part, as the terms and conditions upon which the reconciliation and union 
shall be effected. 

First. The faith and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church shall 
remain sacred and inviolable, and in accordance with these principles the 
spiritual concerns of the said church shall be committed to the care and 
government of the Bishop, and the temporal concerns to the Board of Trustees. 

Second. So far as the parties hereto have power and authority so to 
do, all indictments, prosecutions, actions, and causes of actions, suits, dam- 
ages and trespasses, shall be, and are hereby mutually released and abandoned ; 
a general amnesty to be published in the churches of this city; and if any 
deeds, books, papers or documents belonging to the corporation are now in the 
possession of the Bishop, they are to be delivered to the present Board of 
Trustees, the second party hereto. 

Third. The Rt. Rev. Henry Conwell is hereby recognized as Bishop 
and senior pastor of St. Mary's Church in the same manner as he was at 
the commencement of the late disputes in St Mary's Church; but the Bishop 
voluntarily releases all claim for arrears of salary and emoluments attached 
to the said office. 

Fourth. The Bishop acknowledges the right of the Trustees to recom- 
mend suitable persons as pastors of St. Mary's Church, on the following 
terms and conditions: 

A. The Bishop shall appoint the clergy and notify the same to the 

B. Should the Trustees consider any one, or each of the pastors thus 
appointed, disqualified for discharging the duties of his situation, they the lay 
trustees shall be at liberty to meet and state their objections to the Bishop. 

C. Such statement, in order to merit the investigation of the Bishop, 
shall have the signatures of at least the majority of the lay Trustees. 

D. Should the Bishop please to persist in the appointment of such 
priest or pastors, so objected against, he will do so in the following manner, 
viz.: He, the Bishop, shall appoint together with himself, any two Catholic 
clergymen not connected with the Church of St. Mary's, who shall meet a 
committee of three lawfully appointed by the Board of Trustees, in order to 
consider the objections against the pastor or pastors, appointed by the Bishop. 


E. A majority of votes on either side shall be respected by the Bishop, 
if in favor of the Trustees, as cause for the withdrawal of his appointment 

F. Should the number of votes be equal, (the Bishop voting as an 
individual) the pastors shall cast lots for a fourth person, whose vote shall 
determine the Bishop. 

G. In these proceedings secrecy shall be regarded as inviolable. 
Fifth. The Bishop shall appoint two persons as pastors, who shall 

forthwith officiate with him in St. Mary's Church. 

Sixth. The salary of the Bishop as such, shall be permanent, and not 
discussed without his consent, during his continuance in office. The salaries 
of the pastors shall be determined by the Board of Trustees, care being taken 
that, as far as the resources of the Church will permit, a suitable provision 
shall be made for them. 

Seventh. The small tenement in Willing's Alley belonging to the cor- 
poration shall be furnished and appropriated for the use of the two assisting 
pastors for the time being, of St. Mary's Church. 

Eighth. The Bishop leaves the fixing of the salary for himself and 
the assisting clergy to the liberality and discretion of the Trustees. 

Ninth. As soon as these articles have been mutually executed and 
exchanged between the parties, they shall be entered upon the minutes of 
the Board of Trustees; and in pursuance of public notice previously given, 
St. Mary's Church shall be opened, under the sanction and authority of the 
Bishop of Philadelphia. 

In witness whereof the parties have hereunto irrevocably set their hands 
and seals, the 9th day of October, 1826. 


Bishop of Philadelphia. (L. * 5.) 

R. W.MEADE (L.*S.) 



Committee of the Trustees of St. Marys Church. 

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of us, 


At the time of entering the above contract on the minutes of 
the corporation, the annexed protest was offered to the Bishop by 
the Trustees, which was admitted and accepted by him: 

The Trustees of St. Mary's Church do hereby declare that nothing in 
the preceding agreement shall be construed or intended to mean under any 
shape or form, a relinquishment or abandonment by them of what they con- 


sider their inherent right of Presentation; on the contrary, they declare that 
the preceding agreement has been entered into by them solely to restore peace, 
and with a view to enable them to prosecute more efficaciously their claim to 
the right of Presentation practiced in all other countries. The Trustees con- 
sider this right as important to the spiritual as to the temporal authorities of 
the Church, and that peace and harmony can never thoroughly exist till the 
right is acknowledged and practiced in these United States. 

Further. The Trustees declare that nothing contained in the preceding 
agreement shall be construed as admitting or confirming the principle, that 
the Bishop of Philadelphia, in his own right is, or can name himself pastor 
of St Mary's Church; for the sake of peace the Trustees have consented that 
Dr. Conwell should from this date be a pastor; but this act done under 
peculiar circumstances, they declare, is not to be considered as forming a 

Third and lastly. The Trustees profit of this opportunity to declare that 
they will, with all their energy, prosecute their claim to the See of Rome to 
allow a Bull or decree against any future Bishop being appointed, unless 
his appointment shall have been made with the approbation and with the 
recommendation of the Catholic Clergy of the Diocese. 

(Signed) R. W. MEADE 

Oct. 9th, 1826. Committee of Trustees. 

At the same time an understanding was reached that Fathers 
Harold and Hay den should be appointed and accepted as assistant 
pastors of St. Mary's. 

The announcement of the agreement and the "general am- 
nesty" was made by the Bishop, and published in the Democratic 
Press of 1 1 October, and the National Gazette of 1 4 October, 


All causes of differences being adjusted between the Bishop of Phila- 
delphia and the Trustees of St. Mary's Church, the local and personal inter- 
dicts have been removed, and the church opened accordingly for divine 
worship under the sanction and authority of the Rev. Wm. Vincent Harold, 
and the Rev. Thomas Hay den, his assistant pastor. 

The Trustees are to manage the temporalities according to the act of 
incorporation, and the spiritual concerns shall remain under the care and 
government of the Bishop, to whom the deposit of faith and the general 


discipline of the Roman Catholic Church are entrusted in the Diocese of 
Philadelphia. In consequence of this agreement a general amnesty which 
is to be published in all the Catholic Churches of the city, is hereby declared 
and promulgated. 

Given under my hand this 1 1 th day of October, 1 826. 

Bishop of Philadelphia. 

The Board ratified the agreement 1 November, and accepted 
the appointment of Fathers Harold and Hayden as pastors upon 
notification of their appointment received from the Bishop. The 
salaries of these pastors were stipulated at $600 each, that of the 
Bishop $200. 

On 4 November, the Trustees met again, and they signed the 
following declaration: 

The undersigned Roman Catholic Trustees of St. Mary's Church (in- 
corporated) in Philadelphia, having appointed a committee to confer with 
the Rt. Rev. Dr. Conwell on the subject of the schism, with instructions that 
the terms of admission into the church should be made as easy as possible 
and that no priest should be appointed as pastor in said church against whom 
the congregation, represented by the Trustees had any reasonable cause of 
objection, and the Rt. Rev. Bishop having agreed to these measures according 
to an understanding on that subject by the parties, which imported that 
nothing should be done in that cause, in violation of Catholic principles, of 
which the Holy See is the judge: 

By the parties, viz.: the Bishop and the Trustees: Therefore the above 
act of settlement is humbly submitted to the Sacred College of the Propa- 
ganda for its decision on the points in this settlement which may affect the 
canons and general discipline of the Roman Catholic Church. 

Done at Philadelphia in the vestry-room of S. Mary's Church, Nov. 4, 
1826. Witness the seal of the corporation (L. * S.) 

In the posture of kneeling at the feet of His Holiness to receive his 
paternal benediction, we subscribe ourselves most respectfully the day and 
year above written. 



R. W. MEADE (Absent) 
Arch'd Randall, 



The other American Bishops, on learning the tenor of the 
agreement, distinctly and unequivocally declared it incompatible 
with the discipline of the Roman Catholic Church, and the prin- 
ciples contained in it contrary to her doctrine; and no doubt they 
hastened to send their opinions to Rome. Thus the plan was pro- 
gressing as foreseen by Bishop Conwell. The pew-holders of St. 
Mary's who had been followers of the Bishop, and lately attending 
St. Joseph's, now that peace was restored, resumed their pews in 
St. Mary's Church. In St. Mary's Church eighty-two pews were 
restored to their former owners or given to new holders, and within 
four months $1,258 were received for pew rentals. Another evi- 
dence of the gladness with which peace was welcomed was the 
formation of a Society for the Defence of the Faith, composed of 
the members of both factions alike. It was called "The Vindi- 
cators of the Catholic Religion from Calumny and Abuse." The 
officers of the society were: 

President, Rev. WlLLIAM V. HAROLD, D. D. 

Vice Presidents, Matthew Carey, John Keating, 

Treasurer, WlLLIAM WHELAN, 

Secretary, DANIEL J. DESMOND. 

Acting Committee: 
M. Carey Rev. Dr. Ryan 

Jos. Dugan William W. Haly 

Cornelius Tiers R. W. Meade 

J. J. Borie John Carrell 

Jos. G. Nancrede, M. D. Charles Johnson 

The members were: 

C. Alexander Barnet Quinn 

Richard Drean Joseph Lingg 

John Braceland Rev. Francis Rolof 

J. J. Devitt Patrick Mealy 

Joseph Blame John Russel 

James Donaghy Michael Marshall 

Patrick Byrne Lewis Ryan, Jr. 

Patrick Donoghue William Miller 
Rt Rev. Henry Conwell, Bishop of John Stockdale 

Phila. John McGuigan 

Joseph Fisher Thomas Stokes 



John B. Farrell 

James Furlong 

John Carrell 

Bernard Green 

John Curren 

Martin McGowan 

Morgan Carr 

James Garvey 

Henry Crilly 

Rev. Mr. Hayden 

Timothy Carr 

Cornelius Hughes 

Timothy Carrell 

Amos Hollahan 

Daniel J. Desmond 

Edward Barry 

Michael Durney 

Thomas Balfe 

James Dempsey 

James Brady 

J. Dougherty 

William Bowles 

Chevalier Caravodossy de Thoet, 

Consul General of Sardinia 
Michael Featherton 
William Comoy 
Joseph Fleming 
Michael Cavenaugh 
Peter Gallagher 
Patrick Cummin 
Andrew Gillespie 
Philip McCormick 
Rev. Mr. Hurly 
John Cunningham 
Michael Hurley 
Wm. W. Clarke 
James Hogan 
Thomas Coleman 
J. J. Borie 
John Darragh 
Daniel Bradley 
Margaret McDonough 

Patrick McBride 
Francis Sullivan 
Martin McGonghan 
James Toomy 
James Mahon 
William Whelan 
John McCann 
Peter Weems 
Patrick Hayes 
Joseph Carroll 
Robert Henessey 
Matthew Carey 
Michael Hamilton 
Joseph Dugan 
Charles Johnson 
Thomas Doyle 
John Keating 
John Keefe 
Bernard McNulty 
Francis Killion 
Patrick O'Hara 
John Kane 

Mathias Jas. O'Conway 
Dennis Lawton 
Jos. D. Pendergrast 
F. L. Laguerenne 
Rev. J. Ryan 
James Murphy 
Bernard Roy 
John Murray 
Lewis Ryan 
Thomas Maguire 
Geraldus Stockdale 
Peter Monaghan 
Dennie Sweeney 
John McAran 
Michael Smyth 
Michael McCIoskey 
Charles Tisdale 
William McGlinsey 
John Troubat 
Adam Miller 




Owen Brady 
Michael Doran 
Patrick Brady 
John Donnelly 
Joseph Donath 
Robert Ewing 



Benjamin Cross 

P Peter Flood 
William Cannon 
Dennis Grant 

tjohn McCredy 
James Gardette 
Timothy Cronin 
Rev. W. V. Harold 
John Cassidy 
Rev. John Hughes 
Thomas Combs 
Law. J. Hughes 
Magnus Crosby 
Thomas Harriss 
John Conlin 
Capt. Thomas Hayes 
William Conolly 
William Hayley 
Rev. T. J. Donaghoe 
Niel Harkins 
John Durney 
Chas. Johnson, Jr. 
Timothy Desmond 
Edward McAvoy 
James Keefe 
Joseph G. Nancrede 
D. Kehoe 
John O'Neil 
Edward Kelly 
James Power 
Lewis Laforgue 

Patrick McCardeil 
Owen Miner 
Edwin Carrell 
James Henderson 
Timothy Currin 
Henry H. Hamilton 
John B. Ducomb 
Cornelius Innis 
John Drake 
Peter Kennedy 
John Keen 
Michael McGill 
Edward Keenan 
Charles O'Hara 
Michael Kehilly 
Terence O'Neill 
Matthew Linefo 
Peter Provenchere 
Thomas Leddy 
Augustine Quigg 
R. W. Meade 
Francis A. Ryan 
John Meany 
Andrew Rodrigue 
William Murtha 
Lazero Labole 
James McCoy 
Florence Sullivan 
Felix McGuigan 
James Staunton 
Francis McCredy 
Cornelius Tiers 
Thomas McCormick 
Joseph Marie Thomas 
Edward McCowell 
John Waters 
Peter Woods 

Several publications were issued by this Society, most of them 
written by Matthew Carey. 


On 1 5 October, 1 826, Bishop Conwell ordained to the priest- 
hood at old St. Joseph's, John Hughes, afterwards the illustrious 
Archbishop of New York. He remained for a few weeks at St. 
Augustine's after his ordination, and was then sent to Bedford, Pa., 
to take the place of the Rev. Thomas Hayden, who had been 
transferred to St. Mary's. On 27 January, 1827, Father Hughes 
was recalled to Philadelphia, and became assistant to the Bishop 
at St. Joseph's. 

In the beginning of 1827 it seemed as if the whole schism 
were about to revive, with the Rev. William V. Harold as the 
storm-centre. The Bishop had removed him, for reasons best 
known to himself, from the office of Vicar-General, and in April 
withdrew his faculties. Although Harold had professed stoutly 
enough during the Hogan troubles that a missionary priest's facul- 
ties were revocable at the will of the Bishop, and that laymen had 
no right to interfere, he now protested against the revocation of his 
own faculties, and appealed to the Metropolitan and the Propa- 
ganda. Meetings were held in his behalf by some of the congrega- 
tion of St. Mary's. The better judgment of most of the congrega- 
tion prevailed, however, and the meetings were quiet and peaceful. 
They confined themselves to a petition to the Bishop to reinstate 
Harold, and to a resolve to appeal to Rome. A pamphlet was 
issued summing up the case, deprecating the meetings as inflamma- 
tory, and reminding the congregation of Father Harold's stand for 
authority in the Hogan case; it ended with the statement that the 
Bishop had not failed in any of the terms of the contract, and that 
the disputes of the clergy were to be left to themselves. "Our in- 
terference can only tend to widen the breach. Let us therefore 
endeavor to preserve that peace which a few appear desirous to 

On 14 May Father Hughes wrote to Father Hayden: "Mr. 
Harold has been in New York this week. The opposition is be- 
coming extremely calm and gentle, and the fever of passion has in 
great measure passed away. It seems that it is their intention to 
demean themselves like good Catholics until the Court of Rome 
puts all to rights.** 


Fathers Harold and Hayden had been removed from St. 
Mary's and Fathers Hughes and O'Reilly were appointed in their 
places, but not without a protest from the Trustees, who declared 
it to be a violation of the agreement of October, 1826, and re- 
quested the Bishop to inform them of the motives which actuated 
him in depriving the congregation of the services of the assisting 
pastors who were appointed by him under that agreement. 

The Propaganda, after having been notified by Bishop Con- 
well and the Trustees of the agreement of October, 1 826, demanded 
full and authentic copies of the agreement, and these, translated 
into Italian by the Rev. Anthony Kohlman, S. J., were sent to 
Rome on 27 March. On 30 April the Sacred Congregation met 
and acted on the matter, and on 6 May their action was formally 
approved by His Holiness Leo XII. In the early part of July 
Bishop Conwell and the other American prelates received the in- 
formation from Rome that the agreement was null and void, in the 
following letter: 

Right Rev. and Most Illustrious Sir: — 

Your letters of the 20th of October and the 20th of November in the 
year 1 826, in which you inform us of a certain agreement entered into between 
you and Trustees of your Cathedral Church of S. Mary's, have reached us; 
also we have received from the Rev. Anthony Kohlman, of the Society of 
Jesus, a letter written to him by the Rev. Michael Hurley of the Augustinian 
Order, on the 22nd of January, 1 82 7, in which, as also in your letter of the 
1st of February, is contained the substance of the agreement made with the 
Trustees, translated into Italian for the Cardinals, by Father Kohlman him- 
self, that it might be exhibited to the Sacred Congregation. Finally we have 
received your letter of the 20th of March from Philadelphia, and to which 
was joined an authentic copy of the aforesaid agreement entered into on the 
9th of October, 1826, between you and the Trustees of S. Mary's; together 
with the letter of some of the Trustees of that Church, dated on the 4th of 
November of the said year, which convention itself is submitted to the judg- 
ment of the Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide. Truly, when we 
observed the counsel taken by the Trustees of submitting the agreement itself 
to the opinion of the Sacred Congregation, we have been somewhat relieved 
from the great affliction into which we were cast, when we began to consider 
that agreement, and when we saw the declaration which was made by the 
Trustees on the day of entering the agreement. And because we understood 


that you would certainly, with good will obey the injunction of the Sacred 
Congregation and of the Apostolic See, and were also persuaded that you 
could not have been induced, except for want of duly considering the nature 
of the transaction, to have entered into that agreement and received that dec- 
laration ; we took argument of consolation, when from the letter of the Trustees 
dated the 4th of November, we could see ground of hope for their receiving 
with the proper respect the answer of the Sacred Congregation. 

Wherefore we have to signify to you that the most eminent Cardinals 
being in general assembly to pass judgment upon this whole case, on the 30th 
of April, easily seeing that this agreement and declaration were calculated to 
overthrow the episcopal power, and the discipline concerning that power in 
that diocese, judged by common suffrage, that the agreement and declaration 
concerning which there is question, are to be entirely reprobated, and that they 
desired the same to be openly made known to you. And that you and others 
might be convinced of the very great importance of the affair under considera- 
tion, and especially how necessary it is for the interests of religion that it 
should be known to all persons, that the said agreement and declaration are 
to be reprobated, we have also to communicate to you that Peter hath in 
this case spoken by Leo, for our most holy Lord, Leo XII, having accurately 
weighed the case, did on the 6th day of May, confirm the aforesaid answer 
of the Sacred Congregation; and expressly manifested his desire that all the 
Catholics dwelling in that country should be admonished, that he did also 
decree that the said agreement and declaration were to be altogether repro- 

We therefore are confident that since the Trustees have sought the 
judgment of the Apostolic See in this case, so all will obey that sentence 
which has gone forth from the Apostolic See itself, and that Church matters 
ivill henceforth return to their lawful order, and be in future preserved within 
the same. 

We pray God meantime long to preserve you safe and happy. 
Rome, from the buildings of the Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide, 
May 19th, 1827. 

Your most obsequious brother, 

D. Maurus, Cardinal Cappellari, 

-* Peter Caprano, Archbishop of Iconium, 

Secretary of the Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide. 

A True Copy. 
* HENRY, Bishop of Philadelphia. 

Bishop Conwell notified the Trustees of the decision in this 


To the Trustees of St. Mary's Church, 

Philadelphia. 20 July. 1827. 

It is made the duty of the undersigned to inform you that in a full 
assembly (Generali Conventu) of the Cardinals of the Sacred Congregation 
de Propaganda Fide, held at Rome on the 30th of April last, the articles 
of agreement signed on the 9th of October, 1826, between the undersigned 
and the Trustees of S. Mary's Church, have been formally condemned and 
declared null and void, as tending to overthrow the episcopal authority and 
church discipline heretofore existing in this diocese (facile intelligentes con- 
ventionem ac declarationem Mam spectare ad episcopalem polestatem in diocesi 
ista evertendam) . The undersigned has to inform the Trustees of S. Mary's 
Church moreover, that on the 6th day of May following the said decision of 
the Sacred Congregation was solemnly confirmed and approved by His Holi- 
ness, Pope Leo XII. The Trustees of St. Mary's Church will therefore 
perceive that the undersigned is bound by every tie of their common religion 
to resume and act on his full canonical power as exercised by all the Catholic 
Bishops of these United States. The undersigned does not intend to recall 
however the promise he gave the Trustees in his last communication, but is 
still ready to appoint as pastors of S. Mary's besides himself any two reverend 
gentlemen having faculties in any diocese within the United States, Philadel- 
phia excepted. 

(Signed) * HENRY CoNWELL, Bishop of Philadelphia. 

When the Trustees received this letter, 20 July, John Leamy 
at once tendered his resignation as Treasurer and as Trustee. On 
Sunday, 22 July, the thirteenth anniversary of the death of Bishop 
Egan, Bishop Conwell read to the congregation of St. Mary's 
the following recantation of the agreement: 

I have received official information from Rome, dated the 1 9th of May, 
that on the 30th of April was held a full meeting of the Cardinals of the 
Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide, convened for the purpose of 
examining whether the articles of agreement between the Bishop of Philadel- 
phia and the Trustees of St Mary's Church, on the 9th of October, 1826, 
accorded with the canons of the Church or not, when it had been decreed and 
declared, after due deliberation, that the said articles were uncatholic and 
uncanonical, and consequently null and void, and on the 6th day of May, 
His Holiness, Pope Leo XII attended a meeting on the same occasion in 
propria persona, when the said decision of the Cardinals was taken into con- 
sideration and confirmed by His Holiness in due form. 


Therefore in obedience to this decree, I do hereby declare and publish 
that the said articles of this agreement are not in accordance with the doctrines 
and canons of the Catholic Church, having been repealed and abrogated by 
the supreme tribunal of the Church, and therefore to be declared no longer 
obligatory, and that, being in conscience bound to obey this decision, I do 
most willingly submit, and engage to act on that full canonical power, claimed 
and exercised universally by the Bishops of every nation in the world, as 
well as my immediate brethren the Bishops of the United States, whose 
favor and indulgence I crave on this occasion. 

In conclusion I must observe that, as the agreement of which there is 
a question, has been pronounced null and void, the appointments and arrange- 
ments under it are null and void also. 

Published ore proprio in the Cathedral of the Diocese, inter Missarum 
Solemnia, on Sunday, the 22nd day of July, 1827, by me, 

* Henry Conwell, 
Bishop of Philadelphia. 

So the wise old Bishop had succeeded, as he had hoped, for 
the death-knell of Trusteeism in America was sounded by the con- 
demation of the Pope and the Congregation of the Propaganda. 
All the Bishop's efforts had been futile. The Trustees had per- 
sisted in the upholding of what they considered the rights of the laity. 
They themselves, and other third parties, had vainly attempted 
compromises, including these "rights." Thus by what seems to be 
an inspiration Bishop Conwell had acted in the one way calculated 
to settle once and for all the disputed position of the clergy and the 
laity in spirituals and temporalities. By signing the agreement with 
the Trustees, they appeared to have won the victory. By their 
declaration sent to the Propaganda 4 November, they professed 
themselves, in what appeared to be a mere matter of form, willing 
to abide by the decision of the Holy See, professing themselves also 
to be faithful Catholics. Now the inevitable condemnation which 
the Bishop had foreseen, arrived ; Rome had spoken, and they were 
obliged to submit, or give the lie to all their previous professions of 
fidelity to the Church. Not only was the controversy at St. Mary's 
thus summarily ended, but a precedent was established that could 
be appealed to in all future disputes in any part of the Church. 
Bishop Conwell personally suffered from the misunderstanding of 


his motive, the suspicion of his clergy, and the criticisms of his ap- 
parent weakness in giving away to the demands of the Trustees; 
but after-generations must accord him the praise of having wisely 
and effectively secured the peace and tranquility of the Church. 
Had his plan been known it would have been frustrated. Some 
few did know, as is indicated by Father Kenny's diary of 14 
March, 1827: 

I received a letter from our Bishop that quiets, that even calms my mind as 
to the "Treaty of Peace.*' What quiets and calms me now was admirably 
calculated to mislead me, had I not been providentially barred by sickness 
from being one of the negotiators. I do not wonder in the least that the 
steady veteran friends of Catholic rights during the whole of the Hogan 
schism should now feel sore, whereas what would cure their deep past 
wounds and their deeper present and worse than bleeding feelings, is kept 
from their knowledge. 

Although in the strife of the past seven years, many weak 
brethren had been scandalized, and had fallen away from the 
Church, and in many others religious zeal and attachment had been 
weakened, yet the Church suffered no loss, and the number of 
faithful increased rather than diminished. The communions at St 
Joseph's were greater in number than in the years before, and in 
the few months' service of Father Hughes, he received thirteen con- 
verts. During the month of October Bishop Conwell confirmed 
seven hundred persons at St. Joseph's and several hundred at St. 

Fathers Hughes and O'Reilly had resigned from the pastor- 
ship of St. Mary's, as they did not approve of some of the acts 
of the Trustees ; thus from 1 7 June, St. Mary's had been without 
a regular pastor, excepting the Bishop. In October, the Bishop 
being about to start on a visitation of the Diocese, appointed Father 
Ryan and Father Harold (who had been rehabilitated) , and noti- 
fied the Board in a letter to the Trustees. On this visitation the 
Bishop consecrated the new Catholic Chapel at Harrisburg, of 
which the Rev. Mr. Curran was pastor. The Rev. Dr. Hurley 
preached the sermon. 


On 1 5 May, 1 828, Bishop Conwell, assisted by Fathers Hur- 
ley and Hughes, dedicated the church of St. Dennis at Cobb's 
Creek. In passing we may note the large number of priests sta- 
tioned at this church who afterwards became bishops, viz: Fathers 
John Hughes, Michael O'Connor, Barron, F. X. Gartland, P. R. 
Kenrick, Thomas Galberry. 

Bishop Conwell had been invited to Rome in August, 1827, 
but had pleaded the heat of the summer as an excuse for postpon- 
ing the journey, and in the spring of 1828 a letter was received 
from Cardinal Cappellari, informing him that it was the wish of 
Pope Leo XII that he should come to Rome at once. The Rev. 
William Matthews, pastor at Washington, D. C, was appointed 
to act as administrator during his absence, and the latter further 
directed that Fathers William Harold and John Ryan were to 
leave Philadelphia and go to Cincinnati. The invitation to Rome 
was not a reprimand to the Bishop, but that he himself might give 
the true reason for the compromise that had been condemned. 
Moreover, such a journey would relieve him from the embarrassment 
that Rome judged would naturally be his at the condemnation of the 

Fathers Harold and Ryan had no doubt forgotten the events 
of fourteen years before when they had harassed Bishop Egan; or 
if they remembered them at all, they probably thought that their 
recent activities in favor of episcopal authority had made com- 
pensation. Rome, however, had not forgotten, and the records and 
character of Harold and Ryan were well known. Their removal 
to another city would prevent a relapse, and insure peace in Phila- 
delphia. Accordingly the Propaganda notified them of the com- 
mand, and added to it the order of the Superior General of the 
Dominicans, to whom the two priests owed allegiance as members 
of that Order. To contradict the various reports circulated at the 
removal of Harold and Ryan, and his own summons to Rome, 
Bishop Conwell published the command, declaring his readiness to 
obey, and giving formal notice of the appointment of Father Mat- 
thews as administrator. In May, 1828, Bishop Conwell formally 


handed over the administration of the Diocese to Father Matthews 
in the presence of Fathers Hurley, V. G., John Hughes, and T. J. 
Donohoe of St. Joseph's. 

On 25 June, one of the important actors in the recent affairs, 
Richard Worsam Meade, died. The son, General George Gor- 
don Meade, was baptized as a Catholic, but lost the faith. An- 
other son, Commodore Richard M. Meade, remained a faithful 
Catholic all his life. He was the father of Admiral R. M. Meade, 
also faithful to the Church. 

Bishop Conwell sailed from New York for Havre, 15 July. 
At his departure there were in the Diocese of Philadelphia thirty- 
two priests. Of these twenty-five were of Irish birth, two Ameri- 
cans, two Germans, one Russian, and one Pole. The Rev. Jere- 
miah Keiley, who had resigned from the Jesuits, and had been 
adopted by Bishop Conwell, became assistant at St. Mary's with 
Father Matthews, each receiving a salary of $600 a year. As 
Father Matthews remained in Washington, and came to Philadel- 
phia only on rare occasions, Father Keiley was obliged frequently to 
call on Father S. S. Cooper and Father John Hughes, the priests 
at St. Joseph's, to assist him at St. Mary's. The Rev. Thomas 
DeSilva also officiated at St. Mary's from 1828 to 1836. 

Fathers Harold and Ryan showed their true characters by 
refusing to obey the Propaganda and their Superior. They wrote 
letters of protest to the Cardinal Prefect, and after exhausting 
every other way of securing permission to remain in the city, ap- 
plied to the United States authorities at Washington, demanding 
protection against attacks on their liberty as citizens of the United 
States. After a year of fruitless endeavor, they set sail for Ireland 
in 1829. 

During Bishop Conwell's stay in Rome, Leo XII died, 10 
February, 1829, and on 31 March following, Pius VIII was 
elected Pope. It was planned to appoint Conwell as Bishop to 
some place in Ireland or France, where, as he was now nearly eighty 
years old, his last years might be spent in peace and free from 
trouble. The delay in his affairs, caused by the death of the Pope 
and the election of his successor, tried the prelate's patience, es- 


pecially when he learned that a Council was to be held in Balti- 
more. This Council had been his frequent proposal and pet plan, 
and with an old gentleman's overestimation of his own importance, 
he hurriedly left Rome, for old age has its impetuosity as well as 
youth. The Council opened on 29 October. The Very Rev. 
Father Matthews represented the Diocese of Philadelphia, and 
the old Bishop of Philadelphia was not recognized. He therefore 
returned to Philadelphia. Bishop Conwell had been told in Rome 
not to return to his Diocese under penalty of being deprived of 
his faculties, and he accordingly refrained from any episcopal act, 
and "lived quietly and wrote to Rome by every packet," says 
Father Hughes in a letter. 

A meeting, held this time in the house of Mrs. Nicholas Don- 
nelly on Lombard Street, in the interests of the orphans of the city, 
was the means of instituting, under Father Hughes, St. John's 
Orphan Asylum at a house on Prune (now Locust) Street, south 
side, near Fourth Street, now No. 412. 

The chagrin of the poor old man at not being allowed to take 
part in the Council which he had hoped for as a relief to him in the 
years of the schism, the thought of his living in Philadelphia under a 
cloud because he had left Rome against instructions, intolerant of 
the delay in his affairs, and thinking that he was needed at the 
Council, impressed the Archbishop and the Bishops of the Council, 
and they therefore besought the benevolence of the Pope in his 
favor. Archbishop Whitfield suggested that Bishop Conwell be 
left in peace and rehabilitated, and that a co-adjutor be appointed 
for Philadelphia, who would administer the Diocese. The Propa- 
ganda acted on the suggestion, and Bishop Conwell was forgiven 
for his return to Philadelphia without permission. Francis Patrick 
Kenrick, who had been the theologian of the Bishop of Bardstown 
at the Council, was appointed Bishop of Arath and Co-adjutor of 
Philadelphia, with the right of succession. The aged Bishop's 
honor and dignity and reputation were respected, for the adminis- 
tration was to be carried on as if spontaneously given by Conwell, 
although Bishop Kenrick had his authority and jurisdiction from the 


Third Bishop of Philadelphia. 

(Appointed Archbishop of Baltimore, 1851.) 


On 7 July, 1830, the Co-adjutor Bishop arrived in Philadel- 
phia. He was young, intellectual, and energetic, well informed 
about the situation in Philadelphia, and determined to act decisively 
in the administration of the long-suffering Diocese. His appoint- 
ment was providential, for he was admirably equipped to bring order 
out of the chaos of affairs, and to form by his zeal and intelligence 
the nucleus of a Diocese into the great successful factor it became 
in the affairs of the Church in America. Although the newcomer 
had no pleasant prospect before him in taking up the tangled skein 
of the Church administration in Philadelphia, he was equal to the 
task, and the superb manner in which each difficulty was met and 
overcome will appear in the following chapters. 

With the appointment of the co-adjutor, the administration of 
Bishop Conwell ended in everything but name. It was most deli- 
cate work in the twelve remaining years of the latter's life, for the 
young Bishop to govern the Church, but he displayed the utmost 
tact and consideration toward Bishop Conwell. Like any old gen- 
tleman of eighty who had been in a position of power all of his life, 
he refused to be set aside and clung jealously to his rights and privi- 
leges, asserting these and declaiming against what he thought the 
audacity of "the boy" (as he called him) who had come as his 

It would be unkind to expose or to comment on the life and 
acts of the venerable prelate during these years, during nine of 
which he was totally blind, until his death at the age of ninety- 
four. His dependence was most galling to him, and his letters re- 
questing the subsidy voted him by the Trustees are most pathetic. 
His almost interminable letters to other Bishops advising them of 
affairs of their own dioceses, to his relatives regulating minute de- 
tails of their families and affairs, to public men throughout the 
country congratulatory and advisory, are all instances of advanced 
age that clings feverishly to power, and cannot see or will not see 
that its usefulness is over. 

Throughout it all Bishop Kenrick was most kind and con- 
siderate to Bishop Conwell, although by word and letters the elder 
protested stoutly to the contrary. Once when Bishop Kenrick was 


absent on a Visitation and Confirmation tour, Conwell had the 
younger Bishop's furniture taken from his room, and ensconced him- 
self therein, and wrote to Bishop Kenrick to say what he had done. 
On Bishop Kenrick's return to the city he rented a house on South 
Fifth Street, next to the cemetery, which is now 257 South Fifth 
Street. He afterwards took a house on the west side of Fifth 
Street below Spruce, now No. 3 1 6. 

Bishop Conwell remained at St. Joseph's with his servants and 
innumerable nephews and cousins, though his household arrange- 
ments did not always work smoothly with that of the Jesuits. 
Death at length came to him in 1842. On 20 April, the Rev. 
Father Felix Barbelin, S. J., gave him the last Sacraments, and 
two days afterward he passed away. His body, clothed in full 
pontificals, lay in state in St. Joseph's Church, and on 26 April 
the Solemn Office of the Dead and Pontifical Requiem Mass took 
place; the Right Rev. Dr. Kenrick officiated, assisted by the Rev. 
Dr. Sultzbacker of Vienna as assistant priest; the Rev. C. J. Car- 
ter was deacon, and the Rev. Daniel F. X. Devitt sub-deacon. 
The sermon was preached by Bishop Kenrick, and, accompanied by 
a great concourse of people and a long line of carriages, the body 
was carried to the place of interment, "The Bishop's Grounds," 
Passyunk Avenue and Prime Street (now Washington Avenue). 
It was moved to the Cathedral, 16 March, 1869, with that of 
Bishop Egan, and after Requiem Mass by Bishop Wood, deposited 
in the vault under the sanctuary floor. 


Administration of Bishop Kenrick. — Early Life of 
Bishop Kenrick. — His Consecration and Taking 
Charge in Philadelphia. — Visitation and Ordina- 
tions. — Trustee Troubles. — Founding of Parishes 
of St. John the Evangelist and St. John the Bap- 
tist. — Death of Stephen Girard. — Diocesan Synod. 
— Founding of St. Charles' Seminary. — Cholera 
Epidemic and Sisters of Charity. — Jesuits Rein- 
stated at St. Joseph's. 

December, 1796, in the city of Dublin. He 
worked in his father's office, who was a public 
scrivener, in company with James Clarence Man- 
gan, the Irish poet. At the age of eighteen 
he went to Rome, and became a student in the 
Propaganda. His application to his books and his extraordinary 
talents attracted the attention of his professors, and very soon after 
his ordination he was appointed, on the recommendation of the 
rector of the Propaganda, as Professor of Theology in the new 
seminary at Bardstown. For nearly nine years he filled the theo- 
logical chair in the Seminary of St. Thomas, and at the same time 
acted as Professor of Greek and History in St. Joseph's College, 
performing likewise the duties of pastor to the Bardstown congre- 
gation, as well as missionary to the surrounding country. Bishop 
Flaget said of him: "He was remarkable for his piety, for his ex- 
tensive acquirements, the greatness of his mind, and the natural 
eloquence with which he expressed himself." 

He took part in several controversies with Protestant min- 
isters who attacked Catholic doctrine. At the opening of the First 
Plenary Council of Baltimore, Dr. Kenrick accompanied Bishop 


Flaget as theologian, and in the Council he was appointed Assistant 
Secretary. During the discussion of the Philadelphia affairs in the 
Council, the solution of which seemed to be the appointment of 
a co-adjutor bishop to that See, Francis Patrick Kenrick was the 
choice of all for the difficult position. As has been seen, the Propa- 
ganda acted on the Archbishop's suggestion, and on 6 June, 1 830, 
Francis Patrick Kenrick was consecrated Bishop of Arath and 
Co-adjutor Bishop of Philadelphia, with the right of succession. 
The Bishop of Bardstown was consecrator, assisted by Bishop 
Conwell and Dr. David, the Co-adjutor Bishop of Louisville. 
Bishop England preached the sermon. In company with Bishop 
Conwell, Bishop Kenrick who was barely thirty-four years of age, 
started on the journey to Philadelphia, where he arrived 7 July, 

Almost his first duty was to make a visitation of the western 
part of the Diocese, beginning on the first Sunday of September 
at Reading. A few weeks later at Conewago he ordained to the 
priesthood five young men who had been educated at Mt. St. Mary's. 
He returned to the city in November, and on the 14th of that 
month proclaimed the Jubilee. Shortly after his arrival in Phila- 
delphia, he had replied to a committee of Trustees, "and disclaimed 
the designs of connecting himself to a particular church, but would 
give his services equally to all, and depend on all for his support." 
He learned that during his absence the Trustees of St. Mary's had 
called a meeting to arrange for his income. This was a tentative 
move on their part, a feeble flickering of their old assertion of 
authority. The Bishop, however, was prepared for some such 
display, and on 27 December he sent the following letter to them: 

To the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Society worshipping at the Church 

of St. Mary's, in the city of Philadelphia: 

I beg to inform you, that being duly and exclusively invested by the 
Apostolic See with Episcopal jurisdiction for the government of the Diocese 
of Philadelphia, I shall myself henceforward act as chief pastor of the 


Church of S. Mary's, and that I hereby appoint the Rev. Jeremiah Keiley to 
the office of assistant pastor of the said church. 

Yours respectfully, 

Bishop of Araih and Coadjutor of Philadelphia. 
By Order 

John Hughes, Secy. 

As pastor of St. Mary's, no Trustee meeting was complete 
without his presence, and no order could be issued without the 
consent of the three clerical members of the Board. Therefore 
in the negotiations that took place the Bishop simply reminded 
the Trustees of this clause in their charter. When they attempted 
to resent what they considered the Bishop's high-handed manner of 
arranging matters, they found that they had one to deal with who 
was prepared to take care of his own interests and those of the 
Church. An attempt to placate him by the Board voting him 
$150 was made, but he refused to accept this money, saying: "You 
are no Board without me." When a public meeting of pew-holders 
was held, he attended uninvited, and confounded the Trustees by 
his clear statements of the situation. Their threats of disaster had 
no terrors for this fearless newcomer. On 12 April, 1831, he 
published the following circular: 


The Trustees of St. Mary's persevering in their refusal to recognize me 
as the chief pastor of this Church, and thereby assuming to themselves indi- 
rectly a right of choosing their own Pastors, I feel it necessary to apprise you 
of the consequences of this aggression on the Episcopal authority. The 
Charter of Incorporation declares, that the Trustees are chosen for the man- 
agement of the temporalities of the Church, and gives them no right of 
interference in any shape in its spiritual concerns. The Laws of the Catholic 
Church do not suffer any such interference. It is declared by the Provincial 
Council of Baltimore, and by the Apostolic See, to be an usurpation repug- 
nant to the doctrine and discipline of the Catholic Church; and the Bishops 
are urged to interdict the church, wherein it is attempted. It will become my 
duty to pronounce this sentence, unless all opposition be forthwith withdrawn, 
and the Catholic principles of church government be unequivocally admitted. 
This measure, so painful to my feelings, as well as yours, may be averted by 
speedy submission as Catholics to the authority of the Church. 


I will only add, that I have never entertained any wish or intention to 
infringe the charter; and that I am nowise solicitous about pecuniary contribu- 
tions to my support, for which I trust entirely to the generosity and justice of 
those to whose spiritual welfare I am ready to sacrifice my health and life, 
"although loving more I be loved less/* 

With an affectionate and afflicted heart, I still declare myself, 

Your father in Christ, 

Bishop of Arath, and Coadjutor of Philadelphia. 
12 April, 1831. 

The Trustees remained obdurate, and on 1 4 April, the Bishop 
ordered a "cessation from all sacred functions in the Church and 
Cemeteries of St. Mary's, under penalty of the Ecclesiastical cen- 
sure of suspension, to be incurred by any clergyman attempting the 
exercise of any such function." On 22 April he published the 
following Pastoral Address: 

Francis Patrick, 
By the Grace of God, and Appointment of the Apostolic See, 
Bishop of Arath, and Co-Adjutor of the Bishop of Phila- 
To the Members of the Roman Catholic Congregation worshipping in S. 

Mary's, in the city of Philadelphia. 
Beloved Children in Christ: 

With much anguish of heart, we have, through the deepest sense of duty, 
ordered the cessation from all sacred functions in the Church and Cemeteries 
of St Mary's, under penalty of the Ecclesiastical censure of suspension, to 
be incurred by any clergyman attempting the exercise of any such function. 
Of the cause which led to the adoption of this painful measure, you are 
already apprised; yet we deem it expedient to state the events that led to it, 
clearly and distinctly, lest any amongst you should imagine that we had in 
any degree ceased to cherish that tender affection and zeal for your happiness 
and salvation, which from our first coming amongst you, we invariably mani- 
fested. Though discharging the duties of the sublime office originally com- 
mitted to the Apostles of Christ, we became little ones in the midst of you, 
as a nurse should cherish her children. So desirous of you, we would gladly 
have imparted to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own souls, 
because you were become most dear to us. 

At an early period after we had made the Episcopal visitation of the 
Diocese, and promulgated the Jubilee throughout the Churches of the city. 


namely, on the 27th day of December last, we resolved to devote ourselves 
to the discharge of the pastoral duties amongst you, and we officially com- 
municated to the Board of Trustees our determination, which sprang only 
from the sincerest zeal for your spirtual welfare. To our astonishment and 
affliction the Lay-Trustees made the communication a matter of deliberation, 
instead of simply recording it on their books, and even expressed to us their 
dissatisfaction, though the Charter of Incorporation gives them no right what- 
ever of interference under any shape or form in pastoral appointments, and 
though the discipline of the Catholic Church does not allow such interference. 
Having complained in a solemn and paternal manner, nowise unworthy the 
sanctity of the Pulpit, or the meekness of the Prelacy, of this attempt to 
impede the conscientious exercise of our Episcopal authority, we received 
from the Lay-Trustees a letter dated the 12th of January, wherein, in terms 
not usually employed by the faithful to the Bishops of the Church, they 
expressed their determination to persevere in their resistance. We patiently 
bore their opposition, in the hope that our untiring efforts for the instruction 
and sanctification of our flock would convince them of the justice of our views, 
and induce them spontaneously to desist from a course directly opposed to 
the principles of Church government, and the provisions of the Charter; and 
we carefully abstained from all attempts to influence the election, avowing 
nevertheless publicly in our pastoral address our unchangeable resolution to 
maintain, at every risk and sacrifice, the spiritual rights with whose guardianship 
we have been entrusted. More than three months having passed, and the 
Lay-Trustees after their re-election having proved their determination to per- 
sist in disregarding our corporate rights as Chief Pastor, by assembling a 
Board without our participation, though the Charter declares the three Pastors 
of St Mary's Members of the Board by their office, we could no longer 
tolerate this violation of our chartered rights which implied manifestly the 
denial of our Pastoral office. We therefore in a Circular Letter of the 12th 
of April, apprised the Pewholders of the illegal course of the Lay-Trustees, 
and of the penalty decreed by the Provincial Council and Apostolic See 
against such interference in Pastoral Appointments. On the 1 5th we received 
a letter signed by seven of their number, the other having refused to persevere 
with them in their resistance to the Episcopal authority. In this communica- 
tion they denied having assumed or asserted the right of choosing their own 
Pastors; but they did not venture to deny that they had indirectly, (as we 
had charged them in our Circular) asserted and assumed it, by rejecting the 
Pastors duly appointed, and especially by violating our corporate rights as 
chief Pastor. We called on them for a formal and explicit disclaimer of 
all right of interfering, directly or indirectly, in the appointment, rejection, or 
dismissal of Pastors, and for a pledge that they would henceforward act 
according to the provisions of the Charter; but they explicidy declined that 


disclaimer and pledge, and six of them merely offered to subscribe a memo- 
randum declaring that they agreed to recognize us, and the Rev. Jeremiah 
Keilly, as clerical members of the Board of Trustees. Such an agreement, 
so far from being a practical proof of their adherence to the Catholic princi- 
ples of church government, and of their respect for the provisions of the 
charter, was a measure calculated to confirm and establish the assumed right 
of agreeing to or dissenting from the Episcopal appointments. The letter 
which accompanied the memorandum contained still further evidence, that the 
Lay-Trustees claimed and attempted to exercise in our regard this power, 
since they grounded their assent to our future exercise of the pastoral office, 
on the actual want of another Pastor; thereby intimating, that though we 
had since the 27th of December declared our determination to act thencefor- 
ward as chief pastor of St. Mary's, and though we had since that time con- 
stantly performed all the duties of that office, yet we were not in reality chief 
pastor hitherto, because the Lay-Trustees had withheld their assent and appro- 

Under such circumstances we could not consistently with our attachment 
to Catholic principles and the rights of our office, recall the order for the 
cessation from sacred functions in St. Mary's Church and Cemeteries, which 
we had on the preceding evening issued, when the receipt of the letter of the 
seven Trustees had convinced us of their determination to persevere in eluding 
Episcopal authority. We did indeed abstain from issuing the more solemn 
sentence of Interdict, which the provincial Council authorizes us to pronounce, 
though we well knew that the evil which called for this severity was not of 
recent growth, but had originated and been matured in times of schism and 
confusion, and had long since defied every mild remedy. 

We still hope that the speedy acknowledgment of the Catholic principles 
of church government, may enable us not only to abstain from any more painful 
exercise of authority, but even to restore to our beloved children in Christ, 
the consolation of worshipping in the splendid edifice in which you and your 
fathers worshipped, and which your and their generous piety erected, and 
the legislative authority of this State secured for the exercise of the Roman 
Catholic religion. We willingly persuade ourselves, that those who have 
hitherto resisted the conscientious and mild exercise of Episcopal authority, 
acted under misconception ; and we indulge the hope, that they will soon render 
us that rational and Christian obedience and subjection, which the Apostle 
requires of the faithful to the Prelates of the Church, whom the Holy Ghost 
has placed Bishops to rule the Church of God purchased with His blood. 
We shall hail with joy and thanksgiving to God, their return to duty, and 
endeavor by all the exhibitions of paternal tenderness and affection, to obliterate 
from their minds, and from yours, the remembrance of these days of affliction, 
wherein the Church sits solitary that was full of people. 


May the God of peace crush Satan speedily under your feet The grace 
of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 

Given at Philadelphia, this 22nd day of April, 1831, in the first year 
of our Episcopacy. 

Bishop of Arath, and Coadjutor of Phila. 
By Order John Hughes, Secy. 

The feeble attempt at assertion of rights made by the Trustees, 
and their rebellious attitude, simply made them ridiculous in the 
eyes of the community beside the vigorous figure of the young 
Bishop, who saw so clearly and could state so plainly the relative 
positions and duties and rights of clergy and laity. Discretion was 
the better part of valor, and the Trustees, making a virtue of ne- 
cessity, sent a communication to the Bishop, to which he replied 
as follows: 



Gentlemen: — 

At the hour of half-past one P. M. this day, I received a commuincation 
with your signatures, in date of the 18th instant, wherein you "disclaim all 
right to interfere in the spiritual concerns of the Church, and distinctly state 
that the right of appointing, rejecting, and removing Pastors is considered by 
you as included by you in these spiritual concerns." This disclaimer and 
statement are satisfactory to me, who feel conscientiously bound to maintain 
the spiritual rights of my office. 

Your claim to the right of regulating salaries is understood, of course, 
as members of the Board of Trustees, whereof the Charter constitutes the 
Pastors, not exceeding the number of three, an integral portion. I shall 
confide in the honor and justice of the board, and of the congregation that 
the right be so exercised, that a reasonable provision shall always be made 
for the Pastors duly appointed. 

To give effect to your declarations, it will be necessary that measures 
in accordance with them be adopted in a legal meeting of the Board, before I 
can afford to revoke the order for the cessation of sacred functions in St. 
Mary's. I therefore request a meeting of the Board, on Monday next, at 
the hour of 7 o'clock P. M. at my room in St. Joseph's. Mr. Arch'd Ran- 
dall will oblige me by giving due notice of this meeting to the Rev'd Jeremiah 


Keiley and all the Lay-Trustees. Had I received your letter at an earlier 
hour, or had the duties of this afternoon been less multiplied, we might have 
assembled this evening; and in amicable measures laid the foundation of the 
future harmony of the congregation, and prepared for the celebration of the 
coming of the Spirit of Peace and Love. May He soon unite all our hearts, 
and make us one body and one spirit. 

Yours respectfully, 

Bishop of Arath, and Coadjutor of Phila. 
S. Joseph's, 2 1 May, 1 83 1 , 5 o'clock, Saturday evening. 

On 28 May Bishop Kenrick reopened St. Mary's Church for divine 

On 29 June, 1831, Bishop Kenrick was naturalized as an 
American citizen, and promulgated throughout the diocese that in 
future all the property of the church was to be vested in the name 
of the Bishop. 

The Jubilee that had been proclaimed at the beginning of 
the year, had brought about a revival of piety, and, as the Bishop 
himself declared, "a union of hearts effected by it which was 
worthy of the primitive faithful. Many prodigals returned to their 
Father's House, to be clasped in His affectionate embrace, and to 
feast at His table. Many, after twenty, thirty and thirty-five years 
of total absence from the sacraments, came with streaming eyes and 
broken hearts to deplore their excesses and to seek mercy." 

St. Mary's parish at that time embraced all the territory south 
of Market Street. The city had progressed westward; streets had 
been cut through, and houses erected, and there was evident need 
of a church further west to accommodate the increased number of 
Catholics living in that section. 

St. 3obn'0 On St. John's Day, 1830, the Rev. John Hughes, 

Cbutcb Pastor of St. Joseph's, was given authority by 

j 330 Bishop Kenrick to form a new parish in the cen- 

tre of the city and erect a church. A meeting 
was held in St. Joseph's Church to arrange for the securing of 
funds and the selection of a site. Father Hughes's appointment 


was given him on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, his own 
Patron Saint, and he therefore decided that the new parish should 
be named St. John the Evangelist. Several sites were mentioned. 
A lot at the north-east corner of Eleventh and Spruce Streets was 
rejected as "rather too far south.*' A lot at the south-east corner 
of Broad and Walnut Streets, 100 feet on Walnut Street and 200 
feet on Broad Street, was rejected as too expensive, $20,000 being 
asked for it ; while a lot on the opposite corner, 1 60 feet on Walnut 
Street, and 172 on Broad Street, for which $15,000 was asked, 
was rejected as "too high, and not well suited for the purpose." 
It was finally decided to secure the present site on Thirteenth Street 
between Market and Chestnut Streets, measuring 97 feet on Thir- 
teenth Street and 1 56% feet in depth, being most desirable, secure 
from intrusion by neighboring buildings, and bounded on the north 
and south by Clover and Leiper Streets. The price paid for it 
was $14,008.33. 

An idea of the character of the neighborhood in this present 
valuable part of the city is had from the complaint made by "a 
Democrat of the old stamp" published in the Daily Advertiser, 
14 April, 1832, protesting against the burning of bricks on Girard 
Square (Eleventh to Twelfth and Chestnut to Market Streets) 
as it seriously annoyed the neighbors. At the public meetings John 
P. Owens and George W. Edwards were appointed to take the 
names of the subscribers, and the following committee of twelve was 
appointed to superintend the collections: The Rev. John Hughes, 
Dr. Nancrede, M. A. Frenaye, M. Felin, John P. Owens, Robert 
Ewing, William Ryan, John Maitland, William Whelan, John 
McAran, Mr. Maher, Mr. McCloskey, Thomas Maguire, and 
Timothy Desmond. Work was begun at once, and the corner- 
stone was laid on Friday, 6 May, 1831, by Bishop Kenrick, as- 
sisted by Fathers Hughes and Donoghoe. John McGuigan was 
appointed collector. The completion of the work was threatened 
for a time by lack of funds, but Mr. M. A. Frenaye came to the 
rescue by advancing $40,000 to Father Hughes, and the dedica- 
tion took place on Passion Sunday, 8 April, 1832, by Bishop 


Kenrick, Bishop Conwell also being present. The Rev. John 
Power, D. D., of New York, preached the sermon. 

The exterior of the edifice presented a striking appearance 
in those days, and the interior was handsomely decorated. When 
writing to Bishop Percival of Cincinnati, Father Hughes said: 
"It will cause them who gave nothing toward its erection 
to murmur at its costliness, and those who did contribute to be 
proud of their own doing. As a religious edifice it will be the pride 
of the city. Protestant and infidels proclaim it the only building 
that is entitled to be called a Church, inasmuch as its appearance 
indicates its use, and there is no danger of mistaking it for a work- 
shop." The Rev. Francis X. Gartland, afterward Bishop of 
Savannah, was appointed assistant at St. John's in the same year. 

The new church attracted great attention in the city, and 
the newspapers announced that it would be open all during the 
week for the inspection of the public, from 12 to 2 o'clock, as it 
was considered an architectural honor to the city. Services were 
crowded, and during the first two weeks ten persons applied to the 
pastor for instructions, to be admitted to the Catholic faith. 

The celebration of the Fourth of July, 1 832, was held in St. 
John's Church by the "Philadelphia Association for Celebrating 
the Fourth of July without Distinction of Party." The exercises 
consisted of prayer by the pastor of the Church, an oration by 
Charles Ingersoll, and music by the full choir under the direction 
of Mr. B. Cross. During the following year the pastor of St. 
John's, Father Hughes, engaged in the memorable controversy with 
the Rev. John Breckenridge, a Presbyterian minister, who had 
issued a challenge to Father Hughes or any other Catholic clergy- 
man to dispute the claims of the Church. 

St. 5obn ^ ne y ear '831 saw also the Church of St. John 

tbc J8aptt8t's m Manayunk built and opened for services. 
Aanagunfe The manufacturing interests in that suburb had 

attracted many Catholics, so that the few who had 
dwelt there from the time of Baron Keating, and who had been 
obliged to go to St. Augustine's and St. Joseph's, at length formed 


themselves into a separate congregation, under the Rev. John 
Hughes. He said Mass for them in the house of Jerome Keating, 
the father of Dr. William B. Keating, whose residence stood on 
the site of the present church. The old Dutch Reformed Church 
building was purchased, in 1831, for the congregation, but was 
used for only a few Sundays, until a small church was erected 
and the first resident pastor appointed, the Rev. Thomas Gegan. 
In the year following he was succeeded by the Rev. A. Kinvelon, 
and on the latter's departure for New Orleans at Christmas, 1832, 
the Rev. Charles I. H. Carter became pastor, and the church was 
closed for repairs and enlargement until 1834. 

On 26 December, 1 83 1 , Stephen Girard died, and on the 30th 
of that month he was buried on the north side of the burial-ground 
of Holy Trinity Church. The Rev. J. C. VandenBraack was 
then pastor of Holy Trinity. The entry in Bishop Kenrick's diary 
of this date speaks for itself: 

The body of Stephen Girard was brought, with much funeral pomp, attended 
by many Free Masons marching in procession in scarfs and ornaments, as a 
tribute of respect to their deceased companion, to the Church of the Holy 
Trinity. When therefore I saw these enter the Church to have funeral rites 
gone through, no priest assisting, I ordered the body taken away for burial 
I allowed it to have Christian burial for the potent reason that the deceased 
was baptized in the Church and never left it, and when death came his illness 
was such that he did not perceive its approach. 

In 1832 the Diocese numbered a population of 100,000, 
ministered to by thirty-eight priests, twenty-nine of whom were 
seculars, and nine members of the Jesuit, Augustinian, and Fran- 
ciscan Orders. There were fifty churches and as many stations. 
There was need of uniform action and uniformity of regulations 
in a Diocese so extensive, and Bishop Kenrick therefore in May, 
1832, convened a diocesan synod. Thirty priests were in attend- 
ance, and enactments were adopted to secure a system of reorganiza- 
tion and discipline. The decrees of the Baltimore Council were 
adopted and ratified. No new church was to be begun nor old 
one enlarged without the Bishop's sanction, and in every case the 


title was to be vested in the Bishop. Any priests who should 
encourage Trustees to infringe on episcopal authority were liable 
to the penalty of suspension. The use of the Baltimore Catechism 
was advised. Priests were forbidden to officiate outside their own 
parishes, or to leave these without the Bishop's sanction. It was 
ordered also that the midnight Mass at Christmas was to be discon- 
tinued, because of the dangers attendant thereon. 

Realizing how much the future of the Church in Philadel- 
phia depended on the priests of the Diocese and their training, 
Bishop Kenrick, in June, 1832, began the foundation of the Dio- 
cesan Seminary. He ignored the recommendation that the school 
should be divided into two portions, a paying day-school, and a 
free school for theological students, and in accordance with the 
decrees of the Council of Trent, he took the first steps to establish 
a seminary for the training of young men for the priesthood, apart 
from other students. There were four such theological institutions 
in the United States, at Baltimore, Bardstown, Charleston, and 
St. Louis. The upper rooms of his house, No. 92 South Fifth 
Street (now No. 316), he opened for the lodging and instruction 
of the first Levites, five in number. Three of these, Patrick Brad- 
ley, Henry Fitzsimmons, and Patrick McBride, received tonsure 
in St. Mary's Church, 5 August, 1 832. The seminary was placed 
under the especial patronage of St. Charles Borromeo, and was 
soon transferred to larger quarters at the north-west corner of Fifth 
and Prune (now Locust) Streets, and afterwards, in 1834, to the 
second house south of St. Mary's Church on Fourth Street (now 
No. 254). In 1835 the Bishop's brother, the Very Rev. Peter 
Richard Kenrick, who in 1 834 had been adopted into the Diocese, 
and appointed one of the pastors of St. Mary's, was made Superior 
of the Seminary, which then had ten students. 

In the year 1832, a dreadful epidemic of cholera devastated 
the city of Philadelphia. The Sisters of Charity in St. Joseph's and 
St. John's Orphan Asylums at once gave their services to nurse 
the sick. At the request of the civil authorities of Philadelphia, 
Bishop Kenrick applied for more Sisters to the community at Em- 
mitsburg, Maryland, and on the next day thirteen nuns, who had 

XXIV. CHOLERA IN 1832 279 

joyfully volunteered, arrived in Philadelphia, and acted as nurses 
at the Almshouse, then on Spruce Street between Tenth and Elev- 
enth Streets, during the trying pestilence. Father Hurley of St. 
Augustine's turned over his school and convent to the use of those 
stricken with the disease, and 367 patients, only forty-eight of 
whom were Catholics, were cared for in this improvised hospital, 
which was under the direction of Dr. Oliver H. Taylor. In July, 
the venerable Protestant Episcopal Bishop White, at a meeting of 
the clergy of the city, decided to set aside a day of fasting, hu- 
miliation, and prayer, "to entreat the God of Providence to avert 
the awful disasters of His righteous judgment." The day chosen 
was the 19 July, and Bishop Kenrick issued an address to the 
clergy of his Diocese, recommending the observance of the day, and 
directing the offices to be observed in the religious services, and 
added: "The excesses too frequently committed in eating, and 
still more frequently in drinking, must be abandoned by all who 
wish to flee the wrath to come and escape the overflowing scourge. 
As the use of vegetables and fish is considered by eminent gentle- 
men of the faculty to predispose the system to disease, the obliga- 
tion of abstinence from the use of flesh meat during the continuance 
of the alarm or prevalence of the malady will be dispensed with." 
This dispensation lasted until 22 September, when the epidemic of 
the disease was over. 

During the year following City Councils testified to the efficient 
work of the Catholic Sisters of Charity. Thirteen silver pitchers 
were presented to the physicians who had been in charge of the city 
hospitals, viz: Doctors John C. Otto, N. Chapman, Joseph Par- 
rish, John K. Mitchell, Thomas Harris, Samuel Jackson, Charles 
Lukens, W. E. Horner, Charles D. Meigs, Richard Harlan, Hugh 
L. Hodge, Oliver H. Taylor, and Gouvemor Emmison. The 
Councils wished to present each of the Sisters of Charity with a 
piece of plate, but they declined to receive the testimonial, it be- 
ing contrary to the spirit of their vows. The sum of money which 
would have been paid for the plate was then divided among the 
institutions of which the Sisters had charge. At a meeting of the 


Board of Guardians the following preamble and resolutions were 
adopted and ordered to be published: 

Philadelphia, 20 May, 1833. 

Whereas, a written communication has been received by this Board from 
the Rev. John Hickey, superior of the Sisters of Charity, intimating for 
reasons therein stated, that it is his intention to recall the Sisters now in the 
almshouse, as soon as this Board shall have time to supply their place; 

And Whereas, it is proper that some testimony should be borne to the 
zeal, fidelity, and disinterestedness which these amiable philanthropists have 
exhibited: therefore, 

Resolved, That this body entertain a deep, lasting and grateful sense 
of the general devotedness — the serene and Christian kindness, and the pure 
and unworldly benevolence which have prompted and sustained the Sisters 
of Charity attached to this institution, during the trying period of pestilence 
and death, and afterwards in the midst of constant suffering and disease. 

Resolved, That the invaluable services of these amiable women have been 
productive of lasting benefit to this institution, in the admirable and energetic 
measures which they have introduced for the relief and comfort of the sick 
and afflicted, and entitle them to the warmest thanks and gratitude of the 
whole community, which has been benefited by their labors. 

Resolved, That this body, in parting from the Sisters of Charity, regret 
that the rules and habits of the Order to which the Sisters belong, do not 
admit the acceptance of any reward, as it would give them pleasure to bestow 
such a testimonial as might serve partially to express the grateful feelings 
which they entertain. 

Resolved, That in permanent testimony of our feeling in this regard, 
the above resolutions be recorded in the minutes of this Board. 

Gentlemen : 

When your Board made application through Bishop Kenrick for the 
Sisters of Charity, the ravages of the cholera among the unfortunate inmates 
of the institution over which you preside, required that your request should be 
immediately complied with. It was a crisis of pestilence which demanded 
prompt decision on the part of the superiors of the Sisters at Emmetsburg, 
and accordingly eight of their number immediately set out to meet the exigency. 

It has never since been in our power to ascertain, by actual observation, 
how far their continuance in your institution would be in accordance with 
the charitable end of our society, and with the religious retirement and the 
exercises of piety peculiar to its members. 


Being now on the spot, and having made all the inquiries necessary to 
determine my judgment, I feel it my duty, gentlemen, to advise you that I do 
not consider their long continuance in the almshouse to be that department 
of charity in which they can be most usefully employed. With all the good 
will and kindness which you gentlemen manifested in their regard, I do not 
conceive that consistently with the principle on which the institution is founded, 
supported and governed, it is in your power to secure to them those oppor- 
tunities of practicing the duties of their state of life, according to their rules — 
that protection of their feelings from the rude assaults of such persons as are 
necessarily in your institution, and who regard it as their own, whilst they look 
upon those who minister to their comfort, as servants paid for doing it — or 
that security from misrepresentations of motives and action, in which a few 
retiring and timid females are necessarily exposed, laboring amidst such a 
population of paupers. 

Besides, as in every case of legal provision for the poor the expenses of 
attending them are included, the places occupied by the Sisters might afford 
employment to others who stand in need of it, for the sake of an emolument 
which enters not into the motives that influence the Sisters or their Superiors. 
Consequently, the poor would be attended to in your institution, whilst the 
Sisters could be employed in other departments of Charity, where the unhappy 
sufferers have to depend on a mere pecuniary support; where the orphans 
will look on them as mothers, and the sick as sisters; where theirs will be 
the task to plant the seeds of virtue and education in the minds of poor 
children, whose poverty and wretched parents sometimes conspire to deprive 
them of both, unless such facilities be afforded. 

Trusting, gentlemen, that you will appreciate these motives, I beg leave 
to say, that after allowing such time as you may think requisite to have their 
places supplied by others, it is my intention to recall the Sisters who are 
now in the almshouse. 

In making this communication, gentlemen, permit me to say that no 
complaint has been made by the Sisters against any member of the Board, 
but on the contrary, every testimony has been borne to the kindness and zeal 
for their comfort, which you manifested, individually and collectively, in their 
regard, during the whole time of their stay in your institution, and for which 
permit me, gentlemen, in their name, to return you my unfeigned thanks. I 
am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

John Hickey. 
Superior of the Sisters of Charity, 
Philadelphia, 15 May, 1833. 


As has been seen above, the Jesuits never gave up the owner- 
ship of St. Joseph's Church and the property about it, and in April, 

1832, Father Dzierozynski entered into negotiations with Bishop 
Kenrick looking to the resumption of possession by the Jesuits. The 
Bishop wrote to Father Kenny, the Provincial, June, 1832, say- 
ing: "I shall with great pleasure see the successors of the venerable 
men who founded the Pennsylvania Mission reoccupy the first 
church of this city." He suggested, however, that the "intended 
measure should not be executed before spring," and on 12 April, 

1833, the Jesuits took possession of the house and church. It was 
arranged, however, that Bishop Conwell was still to live at St. 
Joseph's, his rooms having been secured to him for life. In April, 
1833, one hundred years after Father Greaton's founding of St. 
Joseph's, the Jesuit Fathers Kenny, Dubuisson, and Ryder, took 


Administration of Bishop Kenrick (Continued). — 
Founding of St. Michael's Parish. — The Bishop's 
Visitation of His Diocese. — Diocesan Report to the 
Propaganda in 1 838. — The Seminary Receives Char- 
ter. — Is Moved to Eighteenth and Race Streets. — 
The Rev. John Hughes Appointed Co-Adjutor 
Bishop of New York. — St. Vincent's Home for Boys. 
— The Pastors of Holy Trinity. — St. Mary's Moya- 
mensing Cemetery. — St. Augustine's Cemetery. — St. 
John's Vaults. — St. Augustine's Parish. — Death 
of Father Hurley. — Founding of St. Francis 
Xavier's Parish. — Founding of St. Patrick's. — 
Founding of St. Philip's. — Consecration of Bishop 
Lefevre and Bishop Peter Richard Kenrick. — 
Founding of St. Peter's. — Founding of St. Paul's. — 
Founding of St. Stephen's. — Appointment of the 
Rev. Michael O'Connor as First Bishop of Pitts- 

IS early as 1831, the Catholics in the district of 
Kensington and the upper part of the Northern 
Liberties had begun a movement for the erection 
of a church there. The first meeting was held at 
the house of John Waters, No. 449 North Front 
Street, on Monday evening, 1 1 April, 1 83 1 . 
Bishop Kenrick presided, and Mr. Waters acted as secretary. 
The question of a site for a new church was debated at length, 
and finally a committee was appointed, consisting of Bishop Ken- 
rick, Henry Crilly, and Alderman Hugh Clark, to purchase 
ground at the south-east corner of Second and Jefferson Streets, 


which would be large enough not only for a church, rectory, and 
school, but also for a cemetery. The owner of the property was 
William M. Camac, and the price paid him was $3,333.33. The 
Rev. Terence J. Donoghoe, who had been pastor of St. Joseph's 
Church, was appointed pastor of the new parish. After several 
meetings of a Board of Trustees, which had been appointed by 
Bishop Kenrick, who always presided at these meetings, sufficient 
funds were secured and the work of excavation begun. 

St. /fcicbael's On Monday, 8 April, 1833, the corner-stone of 
Cburcb, tne new church was blessed, in the presence of a 

X833 very large gathering. Bishop Kenrick officiated, 

and was assisted by Revs. Michael Hurley, John 
Hughes, Jeremiah Keiley, William Whelan, Michael O'Donnell, 
O. S. A., Tolentina de Silva, James Foulhouze, and F. X. Gart- 
land. The collection taken up on the occasion amounted to $220. 
The work of building progressed, and Father Donoghoe, leaving 
Willing's Alley, took up his residence in the scarcely-finished base- 
ment. On 28 September, 1834, the new church was solemnly 
dedicated under the patronage of St. Michael, by the Right Rev. 
Bishop Kenrick, and Bishop Conwell, very aged and feeble, was 
in the sanctuary. Solemn High Mass was celebrated by Father 
Donoghoe, with the Rev. Edward McCarthy, S. J., as Deacon, 
and the Rev. Patrick Costello as Sub-deacon. The Rev. John 
Hughes delivered the sermon. The collection on this occasion 
amounted to $500. The church when finished was considered an 
excellent specimen of the Gothic architecture of the twelfth century, 
after designs prepared by William R. Crisp. The altar-piece of 
St. Michael the Archangel, by Guido Reni, had been the property 
of Cardinal Fesch, who was an uncle of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

In the formation of the parish a charter had been procured 
for the church, giving the pew-holders and subscribers the right 
to vote for the election of a Board of Trustees. Lest trouble should 
arise from this method, which had proved disastrous at St. Mary's, 


the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 12 February, 1835, changed 
the charter of the church and gave the Bishop of the Diocese the 
power to name the Trustees annually. 

The work of organizing the parish was efficiently performed 
by Father Donoghoe. An organist was secured at the yearly sal- 
ary of $100, which was afterwards increased to $150. One of 
the important works established in the new parish at St. Michael's 
was the founding by Father Donoghoe of a community of re- 
ligious women, composed of several young women whom he had 
brought from Ireland. The community was called "The Sisters 
of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary," and occupied a convent 
at Second and Thompson Streets, where they also taught school. 

In 1834 Bishop Kenrick made another visitation of his Dio- 
cese. His visitations were really tours of church organizings. Al- 
ready churches had been founded by him at Newry, Huntingdon, 
Bellefonte, Tamaqua, and Johnstown. Catholicity had progressed 
wonderfully in the western part of the State. The two churches, 
St. Patrick's and St. Paul's in the city of Pittsburg, were scarcely 
adequate for the 5,000 Catholics in a total population of 20,000. 
In the following year, 1 835, the Bishop's visitation was made in the 
State of Delaware. 

Having thus made himself familiar with all the parts of his 
vast diocese, and fearing that his physical and mental activities, 
great as they were, could not do justice to the ever-increasing 
duties of his position, Bishop Kenrick forwarded a statement of 
the condition of his Diocese to the College of the Propaganda, 
and suggested the erection of a new see, with Pittsburg for its 
centre. He was ready himself to assume the organization of this 
new diocese, and recommended that the Rev. John Hughes be 
appointed administrator of the Church in Philadelphia. But it 
was not until nine years later that Bishop Kenrick's desire for the 
division of his Diocese was carried into effect. As it was not the 
will of Propaganda to divide the extensive territory of the Phila- 
delphia jurisdiction, Bishop Kenrick took up again the laborious 
work. Year after year found him making his long official visita- 


tions. These journeyings, noted in his diary, read like the travels 
of the Apostles. With our conveniences for safe and speedy travel, 
it is difficult to realize the hardships met with in a tour through 
Western Pennsylvania, and Bishop Kenrick's visitations were not 
tours for mere observation. From place to place he journeyed, 
sometimes in a carriage, oftener on horseback and on foot, some- 
times conveyed along a river course in a small boat, whilst on rare 
occasions he was able to make some headway in a steamboat. 
Notice of his coming would be sent in advance from town to town ; 
the people then gathered; baptism and confirmation were admin- 
istered; and a sermon would be preached in the court-house or in 
one of the Protestant churches. The simple entry in the diary 
noting that the Bishop was detained in some place on account of 
the storm, is a commentary on these apostolic travels over primitive 
roads and through primeval forests, traveling difficult enough at the 
best of times, but made impossible by the fierce storms that raged 
among the mountains. The hot summer months were selected by the 
Bishop for these arduous visitations. During the twenty-one years 
that Bishop Kenrick presided over the Diocese of Philadelphia, 
eighteen times he toured from end to end of the vast territory, 
establishing churches, and, like the Good Shepherd, going into the 
wilderness after the lost sheep. In 1838 the Rev. Peter R. Ken- 
rick, who had been appointed Vicar-General, and was then in 
Rome, reported to the Propaganda: "The diocese of Philadelphia 
comprises the States of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and half of the 
State of New Jersey, and contains more than 50,000 square miles. 
It is not easy to give the number of Catholics with precision, but 
they are estimated at about 1 20,000 souls. There are 70 churches 
in the diocese, of which 40 were built during the last eight years, 
many of which may indeed be styled large and beautiful churches." 
These eight years had indeed been well filled with works spiritual 
and temporal. 

The Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo was moved in 1836 
into the house adjoining St. Mary's Church, and in the following 
year the Very Rev. Edward Barron, D. D., became its rector in 


the place of Father Kenrick, who surrendered his charge to become 
Vicar-General of the Diocese. The generous support from the 
Leopoldine Association of Austria, and some gifts of charitable 
individuals, with his own personal resources, enabled Bishop Ken- 
rick to carry on the Seminary successfully. Fifteen priests had 
been ordained from the Seminary, and the number of students had 
increased to twelve. To secure its future success the Bishop's 
practical mind saw the necessity] of giving the institution a corporate 
character, and therefore he petitioned the Legislature of Pennsyl- 
vania for a charter, which was granted 13 April, 1838. Under 
this charter, the official title of the institution was "The Theological 
Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo. ,, It was to be under the su- 
perintendence of a board of trustees, not exceeding nine in number, 
of which the Bishop actually governing the Diocese of Philadel- 
phia, the President of the Seminary, and the Professors of The- 
ology and Sacred Scripture, were to be ex officio members. The 
other members of the board were to be laymen. The Bishop was 
to be President, and the President of the Seminary was ex officio 
Vice-President. Vacancies among the lay-trustees were to be filled 
by the Board, and the Secretary and Treasurer were to be annually 
elected by the Trustees. The Board was organized 1 May, 1 838, 
consisting of the Bishop, the Right Rev. Francis Patrick Kenrick, 
President; the Very Rev. Edward Barron, D. D., Vice-Presi- 
dent; the Very Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, Secretary; and the 
Rev. Edward J. Sourin; and the Messrs. John Keating, Joseph 
Dugan, John Diamond, Michael McGrath, and Mark Anthony 
Frenaye (who was chosen Treasurer, and to whom was paid 
$2,000, which remained in the Bishop's hands at the granting of 
the Charter). 

The apartments of St. Mary's pastoral residence could not 
accommodate the growing number of students, to say nothing of 
the prospective increase. In a most fortunate manner, the Bishop 
was enabled to secure a lot at Schuylkill Fifth and Sassafras 
(Eighteenth and Race) Streets, which measured 46 feet front, 
and 150 feet deep, on which was an unfinished building; and the 
whole was bought for $12,000. Subsequently another lot on 


the north front was purchased for $9,200, and later another of 
66 feet on Race Street, for $3,000. The building on the lot was 
finished, and on Tuesday, 22 January, 1 839, the ten students moved 
into it. The change of the institution's location made it impos- 
sible for Dr. Barron to continue as rector of the Seminary and 
pastor of St. Mary's, and therefore the Rev. Michael O'Connor, 
D. D., who had been ordained in 1833, and served as Vice-Rector 
of the Irish College in Rome, and had long been a personal friend 
of Bishop Kenrick, was appointed to the office. 

Both the clergy and the faithful saw and appreciated the ad- 
vantage of the Bishop's design to have a well-equipped Seminary, 
so that the Diocese might be supplied with priests trained in Phila- 
delphia, and familiar with the people and the needs of the Church. 
The Bishop's Pastoral Letter, issued 2 September, 1838, outlining 
the need and the proposed work of the Seminary, and asking for 
funds from the faithful, met with so generous a response that in 
his Lenten Pastoral, 1839, he expressed his pleasure and gratitude 
for the cheerfulness with which his petition was answered. The 
offerings for the support of the institution continued to be gener- 
ously given, until the year 1845, when, in order to put the con- 
tributions on a solid basis, the Bishop outlined in his Lenten Charge 
a plan similar to that of the Association for the Propagation of the 
Faith. A system of solicitors and managers was thus organized 
for the collection of the annual subscription of one dollar from 
each member of the Diocese, while full reports of receipts and ex- 
penditures were to be read publicly twice a year. On 10 May, 
1838, one of the first meetings of the Board of Trustees was held, 
at which, by a by-law proposed and passed, they recommended to 
each congregation within the Diocese the establishment of an aux- 
iliary society, to be styled "The Society of the Seminary of St. 
Charles Borromeo" of which the pastor of each congregation should 
be the local President. On 16 March, 1840, this plan was im- 
proved by Bishop Kenrick, through the formation of "The Aux- 
iliary Society of the Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo." So ex- 
cellent was the organization of this means of securing an annual 
income for the Seminary, that it is still in use as arranged by Bishop 


Kenrick, with the single exception that the Report to-day is read 
publicly once a year instead of semi-annually. From the year 
1836, when the collections amounted to $1,451.44, each year's 
report, published annually (with the exception of the year 1864), 
has shown a steady increase up until the latest report, which showed 
the collection of 1908 to have been $52,910. In 1841 Dr. O'Con- 
nor was appointed Vicar General of the Pittsburg Diocese, of 
which he was made Bishop two years later. At his departure the 
Seminary was placed under the immediate direction of the priests 
of the Congregation of the Mission, with the Rev. Mariano Mailer, 
C. M., as Rector. 

In November, 1837, was announced the appointment of the 
Rev. John Hughes as Co-adjutor to Bishop Dubois of New York, 
Bishop Kenrick left St. Mary's to make St. John's his Cathedral. 
Father Gartland was appointed pastor of St. John's, with the Rev. 
Edward J. Sourin as assistant. Within this parish St. John's 
Orphan Asylum was established in larger quarters in the Gothic 
Mansion on the north side of Chestnut Street, below Thirteenth 
Street, where now stands the Free Library of Philadelphia. 

While there were thus two well-established asylums for or- 
phans in the city, the need of a similar institution for destitute Ger- 
man children was filled by the establishment, in 1834, of St. Vin- 
cent's Home for Boys, by the Rev. Francis Guth, then pastor of 
Holy Trinity. A house was rented on Spruce Street opposite 
Holy Trinity Church as a home for the eighteen orphan boys who 
were the first charges of this institution, now located at Tacony. 
Father Guth was succeeded at Holy Trinity by the Rev. Peter 
Henry Lemcke, who had been a soldier in Germany in the wars 
against Napoleon. While a student in a Lutheran University, he 
was converted to the faith by the reading of Luther's own works. 
He became a Catholic in 1824 and was ordained in 1826. In 
1 836 Father Lemcke left Holy Trinity, and became the associate of 
Father Gallitzin. He was succeeded by Father Stahlschmidt, and 
in 1 838 the Rev. John Gassman, who had been ordained 1 1 


March of that year, was appointed pastor of Holy Trinity; but 
after two months he was succeeded by the Rev. Otto Borgess, who 
remained pastor until 1845. 

The constantly-increasing Catholic population made it neces- 
sary for Bishop Kenrick to arrange for further burial facilities, and 
accordingly in April, 1835, a plot of ground was purchased in 
Moyamensing Township at Tenth and Moore Streets, for $500 
an acre. It was blessed 21 June, 1835, and was called St. Mary's 
Moyamensing Cemetery. In 1861 the Trustees of St. Mary's 
Church, at a cost of $325, had an Act of Legislature passed to 
prevent the running of Moore Street through the burial-ground, 
and in 1870 additional property was purchased. In 1884, Elev- 
enth Street was cut through this property, and the Trustees were 
awarded $9,000 damages by the city. 

In 1836 the first interment was made in the burial ground 
purchased by Dr. Hurley for St. Augustine's Church in 1824, at 
Schuylkill Seventh and North Streets (now north-east corner of 
Sixteenth and Wallace Streets). The last interment was made in 
this ground on 20 August, 1853, when the growth of the city had 
made the ground valuable. The bodies were moved by Mr. C. G. 
Hookey to the Cathedral Cemetery, and those not claimed to St. 
Dennis's Cemetery, Cobb's Creek. 

Burial arrangements for St. John's parish were made in 1837, 
when the vaults along the north wall of the church were built as 
they are to-day; and in December of the same year several bodies 
that had been temporarily buried in this ground to the north, were 
re-interred in the vaults. Among these were members of the 
families of John P. Owens, James McClusky, Patrick O'Hara, 
Henry McCluskey, George W. Edwards, T. A. Gubert, Col. 
Davis, Patrick M. Lane, Alexander Lopez, Alexander Darrain- 
ville, and Angelo Garibaldi, the Sardinian Consul, whose body 
was afterwards removed to Italy. As these old vaults of St. John's 
form part of the fast-disappearing historic monuments of the city, 
and the names one reads on the slabs recall the prominent Catholic 
families and some of the actors in the stirring scenes of the first 
years of the nineteenth century, it will be interesting to note a few 


of the interments. Among the first burials in the vaults was Andrew 
James Francis Robbins, aged five, whose body was placed in vault 
No. 3. In December of 1 842, Matthias James O'Conway, Court 
Interpreter, who died aged seventy-seven, was buried in vault No. 
19. He was one of the best types of an educated Irishman, who 
in those early days when Irish Catholics were not considered among 
the leaders of society, held a most important position in municipal 
affairs. His daughter Cecilia was the first Philadelphia member of 
the Ursuline Nuns of Quebec. 1 In November, 1843, the remains 
of Sister Michaellis, aged eighteen, of the Orphans' Asylum were 
laid in vault No. 1 1 . Her body and those of a dozen orphans 
were later removed to the Cathedral Cemetery. In August, 1844, 
Chevalier Chacon, Consul General of Spain, was buried in vault 
No. 1 7. In October, 1 846, Thomas Penn Gaskill was interred in 
vault No. 1 , where also, in December of 1 867, the remains of his 
widow were laid to rest. In August, 1855, Christine Alexander 
Adolph Durant de St. Andre, Consul of France, was interred in 
one of St. John's vaults, but afterwards removed to the Cathedral 
Cemetery. Others of the vaults contained the remains of repre- 
sentatives of distinguished families. In vault No. 4, the remains 
of the wife of Baron Maurice Bruno Blanc DeLanautte de Hautrive 
were buried a in vault No. 1 1 , Dr. J. C. Nancrede ; in No. 1 2, Dr. 
Thomas P. J. Stokes; in No. 22, Wm. Whipple; in No. 37, Wm. 
L. Hirst, Esq. ; while in vault No. 9 rest the remains of an empress, 
and her son and daughter. She was Madame Anna Maria Haurte 
de Iturbide, ex-Empress of Mexico, who died 20 March, 1861, 
aged seventy-nine years. Her husband, Don Augustine de Itur- 
bide, with General Juan O. Donoju, Viceroy of Spain, overthrew 
in 1 82 1 the Spanish authority in Mexico, and in the following May 
he was chosen Emperor by the Deputies of the Mexican Congress. 
In February, 1823, Gen. Santa Anna demanded the abdication of 
the Emperor. On 19 March he surrendered the Imperial crown, 
and was allowed a pension of $25,000 a year. He was escorted to 
the coast and embarked for Italy, but during the following year 
he returned in disguise, and was captured and shot. The Mexican 

1 See First Philadelphia Nun, in Records A. C. H. S. 


Congress, however, granted his family a pension of $8,000 a year, 
and his widow and two children took up their residence in Philadel- 
phia. Young's History of Mexico says: "The reputation of Itur- 
bide has increased among his countrymen, until it has reached its 
climax, and he is now recognized throughout Mexico as the Father 
of his country. The anniversary of the day which gave him birth 
is celebrated in every city and town, with all the usual demonstra- 
tion with which nations proclaim their gratitude toward public 

On 14 May, 1837, the Rev. Michael Hurley, who had been 
pastor at St. Augustine's from the death of Dr. Carr on 29 Sep- 
tember, 1819, died. Father Hurley was the first priest from Phila- 
delphia, and after having been educated and ordained in Rome 
he was stationed at St. Augustine's from 1803. The thirty-four 
years of his priestly life had seen many joys and sorrows in the 
growth of Catholicity. In the Harold and Hogan troubles he had 
been staunchly loyal to rightful authority, and it was his influence 
with the other priests of St. Augustine's that made that parish re- 
markable for the harmony that was never marred by contention. 
Father Hurley completed the building of St. Augustine's, erected a 
gallery in the church, added the vestibule, and improved the front 
of the edifice. He also made another notable addition by the erection 
of the cupola in which were placed, at the request of the people 
of the neighborhood, the old clock and bell which belonged to the 
Province of Pennsylvania before Independence, and which were 
bought from the city for $250. Father Hurley was a notable 
preacher, and delivered sermons throughout the United States on 
special occasions. His learning and experience were valuable as- 
sistants to Father Nicholas O'Donnell, O. S. A., with whom he 
inaugurated the first Catholic newspaper in Philadelphia, The 
Catholic Herald. 

One learns the growth of St. Augustine's parish, during the 
long years of Father Hurley's administration, from the report of 
the census of the parish taken in 1838, in which the total number 
of parishioners is given as 3,002, of whom 2,146 were adults. 
The number of yearly communicants was 750. During the year 


of the census there had been 1 83 baptisms and 54 marriages. The 
census gives the interesting information that the congregation num- 
bered 1,494 Irish, 508 Americans, 73 Germans, 37 English, 21 
French, 8 Italians, and 5 Scotch, while 856 were unclassified. 

St. jfrancfs The founding of St. John's Parish, on Thir- 
Xavier's teenth Street near Chestnut Street, provided for the 

Gburcb, 1839 Catholics in the district north and west of the church 
as far as the Schuylkill River. The great activity 
that developed along the Schuylkill attracted a large number of 
settlers, most of whom were Catholics. To provide for the spiritual 
needs of these people, Bishop Kenrick called a meeting in St. John's 
Church on 27 May, 1839, at which he made known his intention 
of forming a parish in the far western part of the city, and an- 
nounced that a suitable lot had been secured at the corner of Biddle 
and Fairmount (now Twenty-fifth) Streets. The appeal for funds 
to the Catholics of the city and county, under the management of 
the Rev. Michael O'Connor, D. D., Rector of the Seminary, who 
had been appointed pastor of the new parish, met with a ready 
response. The corner-stone of the new church was laid on Monday 
afternoon, 1 June, 1 839. The chapel was blessed 3 1 December, 
1839, and so rapidly did the work progress that the new church 
was dedicated on Sunday, 6 June, 1841, under the Patronage of 
St. Francis, one of the Bishop's patrons. On the day of its open- 
ing the collection amounted to $700. As Dr. O'Connor's man- 
agement of the parish was only temporary, the Rev. William 
Whelen was appointed pastor early in 1 840. After twelve months 
Dr. O'Connor assumed charge again until his appointment as Vicar 
General of Pittsburg, when the Rev. Patrick Rafferty was made 
pastor. The last-named was one of the striking characters of his 
day. Early in his pastorate he built a modest little residence south 
of the church and opened a parish school in the basement of the 
church. For twenty-two years he administered the affairs of his 
parish with notable success. 


St* Patrick's ^he coa l-shipping industry, the wharves of which 
Cburcb stretched alongside the east bank of the Schuyl- 

jg 3 kill River, had caused the forming of another set- 

tlement, called "The Village,'* and "Out Schuyl- 
kill," directly west of St. John's Church. Although this district was 
not so thickly settled as that which formed the new parish of St. 
Francis Xavier, Bishop Kenrick deemed it desirable to form, in the 
latter part of the year 1 839, another parish, which was placed under 
the patronage of St. Patrick, the Bishop's second patron. A 
frame-building was purchased on the east side of Schuylkill Fourth 
(now Nineteenth) Street, between Spruce and Ann (now Man- 
ning) Streets. This frame-house, which had been brought from 
the Navy Yard by Stephen Kingston, and had been used as a car- 
penter-shop and vinegar factory, was transformed into a chapel and 
placed in charge of the Rev. Daniel F. X. Devitt, who had been 
ordained by Bishop Kenrick in St. John's Church, on Saturday, 
21 September, 1839. The first Mass was said in this temporary 
chapel 22 December, 1 839, by Father Devitt. 

On 1 June, 1841, Father Devitt bought from the Vodges 
Estate for $6,000, the whole amount secured by mortgage, a lot of 
ground 80 x 110 ft., on the north-west corner of Schuykill Third 
(now Twentieth) and Murray (now Rittenhouse) Streets. On 
4 July, 1841, the corner-stone of the new church was solemnly 
blessed by Bishop Kenrick, assisted by the priests of the city and the 
seminarians. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Patrick 
E. Moriarty. On 5 December, 1 84 1 , the new church was dedicat- 
ed to God under the patronage of the Apostle of Ireland. The 
Rev. Michael O'Connor, V. G., performed the ceremony, and the 
Right Rev. Peter Paul Lefevre, D. D., Administrator of Detroit, 
was celebrant of the Solemn Pontifical Mass. The Very Rev. 
Peter Richard Kenrick, brother of the Bishop of Philadelphia, 
preached the sermon. The new parish had now a suitable brick 
church, 60 ft. front by 100 ft. deep, built under the direction of 
Napoleon LeBrun, afterwards architect of the Cathedral. The 
furnishing consisted of benches. The parish boundaries, as publish- 
ed by Father Gartland, the Bishop's Secretary, was "all that portion 


of the city proper which lies west of Schuylkill Sixth (Seventeenth) 
Street, as also Passyunk Township and Hamilton Village." 

St. pbtlfp'6 ^he Catholics in the districts south of South Street, 
Cburcb ^e soutnern boundary of the city, were numbered 

lg 40 in the parishes of St. Joseph's and St. Mary's. 

Year after year found the broad fields of farm lands 
supplanted by streets and rows of houses, while the forest land at 
Fifth Street and along old Passyunk Road had given place to 
flourishing and thickly-populated settlements which formed the town- 
ships of Southwark and Moyamensing. Bishop Kenrick in his plan 
for providing proper church facilities, saw the need for establishing 
a parish in the old district of Southwark. As early as 1836 the 
Bishop purchased ground for the future church on the east side of 
Fifth Street between German and Plum (now Monroe) Streets, 
with money left for the purpose by Andrew Steel. But it was not 
until the early summer of 1840 that the Bishop was enabled to 
realize his intention, when he appointed as pastor the Rev. John P. 
Dunn, who had been an assistant at St. Mary's. The boundaries 
of the new parish were South Street on the north, Passyunk Avenue 
and Broad Street on the west, and the Delaware River on the east. 
Father Dunn procured another lot on the south side of Queen Street, 
between Second and Third Streets, more centrally located for the 
site of the church than the lot purchased by the Bishop, which he 
therefore sold. 

The corner-stone of the new church was blessed on the Feast 
of St. Ignatius, 31 July, 1840, by Bishop Hughes, the Co-adjutor 
Bishop of New York, and nine months later the building was dedi- 
cated by Bishop Kenrick, 9 May, 1841, under the patronage of St. 
Philip de Neri, Father Dunn celebrating the first Mass in the church 
on that day. The Deacon of the Mass was the Very Rev. Peter 
Richard Kenrick, V. G., and the Sub-deacon, the Rev. Joseph 
Deane, a seminarian. Father Dunn took up his residence in a house 
on Front Street, but afterwards moved to a small house in Somer's 
Court, close to the rear of the church. The first baptism entered 
in the church records is that of Margaret Hargin, daughter of Daniel 


Hargin and Ellen Quinn, 16 May, 1841. The first marriage re- 
corded is that of William Reilly and Mary O'Neil, 27 May, 1841 . 
In the basement of the new church a parish school was opened for 
boys and girls. Father Dunn administered the parish alone until 
the beginning of 1 844, when the Rev. Nicholas Cantwell, who had 
been stationed at Pottsville from November, 1841, when he was 
ordained, was appointed assistant at St. Philip's. He celebrated 
his first Mass in St. Philip's, 5 January, 1 844. 

The year 1841 witnessed the consecration of two Bishops in 
Philadelphia, Dr. Peter Paul Lefevre, as Bishop of Zela, and 
Co-adjutor Bishop of Detroit, in St. John's Church, on 21 Novem- 
ber, and Bishop Kenrick's brother, Dr. Peter Richard Kenrick, as 
Bishop of Drasa, and Co-adjutor Bishop of St. Louis, at St. Mary's 
Church, 30 November. 

The following year, Friday, 22 April, 1842, the Venerable 
Bishop Conwell, aged 94, went to the reward of his long and trouble- 
some life. Criticism of his conduct during the years of conflict had 
long since been lost sight of in the patience and resignation with 
which he bore his years of blindness and his physical inability to per- 
form any priestly functions. Only sympathy was felt for the old 
servant of God when it was learned that he had at last been relieved 
of his burden of years. Bishop Kenrick celebrated Requiem Mass 
in the Church of St. Joseph, which was attended by nearly all the 
priests of the diocese, the seminarians, and a vast concourse of people. 

St. jpetcr'0 While the needs of the English-speaking Catholics, 
Gburcb as ^ as k een seen » were provided for year after year, 

IQ^2 ky * fte erection of churches in the various parts of 

the city and county, the German-speaking Catholics, 
however far scattered, were numbered as parishioners of the one 
German Catholic congregation in the city, Holy Trinity, at Sixth 
and Spruce Streets. A large number of German-speaking Catholics 
were settled in Kensington and Northern Liberties, and in 1841 they 
petitioned Bishop Kenrick for the erection of a church. Fifty men 
signed the appeal, and Bishop Kenrick applied to the head of the 
Redemptorist Order in the United States, the Very Rev. Father 


Alexander Czvitkovicz, asking that the Fathers of the Redemptorist 
Order form a German-speaking parish, and erect a church. Having 
received the assurance that the congregation would pay one-third 
of the cost of the building, the acting head of the Redemptorist 
Order, the Rev. Father Gabriel Rumpler, undertook the project, 1 2 
August, 1841. 

In 1 832, three Redemptorist Fathers, the Revs. Simon Sanderl, 
Francis Hatscher, and Francis T. Schenhens, accompanied by three 
Lay Brothers, had come from Vienna to America in response to a 
request of the American Bishops. One of the Fathers went to Ohio, 
while another labored among the French in Michigan, and the third 
among the Indians in the West. The Lay Brothers worked as labor- 
ers in order to earn their daily bread. In 1838 two other Fathers 
arrived from Vienna, but on account of their great poverty they were 
obliged to live separately. The Fathers were discouraged at the 
unfavorable circumstances which had frustrated their plans of giving 
missions, as in spite of the large number of German-speaking Cath- 
olics in America, there were but twelve secular German-speaking 
priests, and very few in the Religious Orders. The Redemptorists 
therefore turned their attention to the large field for them in the care 
of the German Catholics in the eastern States of the Union, and a 
few years found the Redemptorist Order in charge of many flourish- 
ing German congregations in this locality. When they came to 
Philadelphia, in response to Bishop Kenrick's invitation, a lot was 
purchased at the south-east corner of Fifth Street and Girard Avenue 
(then Franklin Street) , for $1 7,000. The Rev. Father Louis Cart- 
uyvels took charge as pastor toward the close of the year 1842, and 
utilized the two frame-structures which were standing on the lot, one 
as a temporary church on Sundays, and during the week as a school- 
room, and the other as a pastoral residence. The $4,000 received 
from the Leopoldine Association of Vienna was contributed by 
Bishop Kenrick to the new parish, and the work of building a church 
began. The cellar was dug by the members of the congregation, 
assisted by 300 members of St. Michael's parish, and on 1 5 August, 
1843, the corner-stone of the church was laid, and the parish placed 
under the patronage of St. Peter. The Rev. Father George 


Beranek succeeded in charge of the parish, which then numbered 
200 adult members, who were very poor, as the church records of 
the first Sunday's collection show, the amount received being but 
$1.40. The temporary school held in the chapel was attended by 
about 100 children, who were instructed by lay teachers. In the 
year 1 844, the Rev. Joseph Fey was appointed rector. 

St. Paul's ^ n '^43, Bishop Kenrick felt the need of a new 

Cburcb parish in the very much improved and populous 

13^3 district of Moyamensing. This township, when in- 

corporated in 1812, contained not more than 3000 
inhabitants, and these were scattered over a district that ran from 
Passyunk Avenue on the east, to the Schuylkill River on the west, 
and on the south contained the territory that afterwards became 
Passyunk Township. The major part of this district was occupied 
by farms and truck patches, and the streets were hardly more than 
roads; but the energy of some of the inhabitants, one of whom was 
Mr. John Maitland of St. Mary's parish, foreseeing the possibilities 
of the territory, transformed the township into an attractive district. 
The streets were the old roads, one of which, Passyunk Road, 
formed the eastern boundary of the township, and was the thorough- 
fare used long before the days of William Penn by the Swedes. It 
connected their two trading-posts, one at what is now Point Breeze 
on the Schuylkill, and the other at what is now the foot of South 
Street on the Delaware. The local government, consisting of a 
Commission of Nine, who during the early years had made their 
headquarters in the various public houses of the district, in 1 834, took 
up their quarters and governed the township from the beautiful public 
building, ornamented with a marble portico, which was built on the 
south side of Christian Street, between Ninth and Tenth Streets. 
This Commissioner's Hall was the principal voting-place of the 
district; it was used for public meetings; and here the Court of 
Justice and the station for the Watchmen were established. Soon 
after the Hall was built, Moyamensing District was divided into 
four wards. The first included the territory north of Carpenter 
Street to South Street and east of Seventh Street; the second, north 


of Carpenter to South Street, between Seventh and Eleventh Streets ; 
the third, west of Eleventh Street to the Schuykill, between Carpen- 
ter and South Streets ; and the fourth, the territory south of Carpenter 
Street. Under the rule of the Commission, Moyamensing devel- 
oped gradually into the ways and manners of city life. Numerous 
schools and churches were erected and also a bank and a market. 
It was the fashionable thing to hold picnics and parties, mass- 
meetings and Fourth-of-July celebrations in some of the famous 
gardens of the District, which were also favorite resorts on Sunday 
for pleasure-seekers and the thousands of city sportsmen who went 
to "The Neck" for game, and to Point Breeze with their horses. 
One of the most famous resorts was the Lebanon Garden, at 
Tenth and South Streets. Another was the Moyamensing Botanic 
Gardens on Love Lane (now Washington Avenue) between 
Eighth and Eleventh Streets. This was owned by Alexander 
Parker, and contained a wonderful collection of box-trees and 
curious plants which were carefully cultivated. 

The boundaries ascribed to the new parish followed the lines 
of Moyamensing and Passyunk Townships, embracing the dis- 
trict south of South Street and west of Passyunk Road. Bishop 
Kenrick appointed to organize the new parish the Rev. Patrick 
F. Sheridan, who had been ordained 4 November, 1841. He 
had said his first Mass at St. Philip's Church, and had meanwhile 
been in charge o^f scattered missions in Chester County. His ex- 
ecutive ability was shown by the purchase of a lot on the north 
side of Christian Street, between Ninth and Tenth Streets, opposite 
the Commissioner's Hall. Work was at once begun, digging the 
cellar and building the foundation walls. Bishop Kenrick blessed 
the corner-stone 7 May, 1843, and placed the parish under the 
patronage of St. Paul. Although the church was not fully com- 
pleted, the congregation assembled in it on Christmas Day, 1843, 
for the first Mass, which was said by the pastor, Father Sheridan. 
The subsequent troubles of the fateful year of 1844 delayed the 
completion of the church. 


St. Stepben's ^ar to *^ e nortn °f *h e old city boundary at Vine 
Cburcb Street, in the old township of Northern Liberties, 

l843 there was a small village called Nicetown. Many 

of the residents were Catholics and, though poor in 
material wealth, their faith was so lively that they traveled many 
miles to attend Mass at the nearest church, St. Michael's, in Ken- 
sington. To supply the spiritual needs of these people, and with 
the knowledge that a Catholic church there would mean the im- 
provement of the district, which at some future day would become 
part of the city itself, Bishop Kenrick in his plan for the further- 
ing of the Church in Philadelphia, resolved to organize a parish. 
Ground was secured at the corner of Barr and Clinton (now Ly- 
coming) Streets, and on 21 September, 1843, the corner-stone of 
the church was blessed by Bishop Kenrick, and a small stone church 
was erected to the service of God, under the patronage of St. Ste- 
phen. It was dedicated Monday, 1 January, 1844, by the Very 
Rev. Father Mailer, C. M., then President of the Seminary. The 
Rev. E. J. Sourin preached the sermon. The Rev. Dominic For- 
restal, assistant at St. Mary's, editor of The Catholic Herald, and 
one of the most talented men of the time, served as pastor until 
May, 1844, when he was succeeded by the Rev. William Lough- 
ran, who in one month was made rector of St. Michael's. The 
first baptism was that of William Anthony Ruffner, son of William 
Anthony Ruffner and his wife Elizabeth. The record of the col- 
lection in these first days of St. Stephen's parish shows that the 
congregation was neither large nor wealthy. One of the Sunday 
collections amounted to twenty cents, while the Easter collection 
realized $4.67. 

The wide extent of the western part of the Diocese, with the 
difficulty of traveling rendering it almost inaccessible to Philadel- 
phia, had made Bishop Kenrick solicitous about the urgent need 
of closer touch with authority throughout that region. The Rev. 
Prince Demetrius Gallitzin held the position of Vicar General of 
Western Pennsylvania. He had frequently urged Bishop Kenrick 
to petition for the erection of a diocese in this western country, 
for which Gallitzin had made preparations, owning sufficient land 


to serve for the support of a bishop. Bishop Kenrick him- 
self had seen the need of a separate diocese under the strict 
supervision of a bishop in this distant part. Although he had 
brought the matter before the assembled Fathers of the Church in 
the Council of Baltimore, offering himself as organizer of the 
western diocese, with some other bishop meantime appointed for 
Philadelphia, Bishop England of Charleston opposed it, and wished 
to postpone the division of the Diocese until the meeting of the 
next Council of Baltimore. In the meantime Bishop Kenrick, who 
had been named as Co-adjutor to Bishop Dubois of New York, 
wrote to the Holy See, stating his reasons against accepting the 
new office. He took occasion also to press again the question of a 
new diocese to be formed in Western Pennsylvania. That the 
See of Philadelphia might be relieved in part of its great burden, 
the Rev. Michael O'Connor, pastor of St. Francis Xavier's Church, 
who had been Superior of the diocesan Seminary, was sent to Pitts- 
burg as Vicar General. 

In the Council of Baltimore, held in 1843, Bishop Kenrick's 
counsel prevailed, and the assembled Bishops formally solicited 
the erection of the Pittsburg See. On 11 August, 1843, Pope 
Gregory XVI, by the Brief "Universi Dominici" created the Dio- 
cese of Pittsburg, assigned to it the territory of Western Penn- 
sylvania, including the counties of Bedford, Huntington, Clearfield, 
McKean, and Potter, and all the country west of them, named St. 
Paul's as the Cathedral church, and appointed the Vicar General, 
Michael O'Connor, as the first Bishop of Pittsburg. Father O'Con- 
nor was in Rome, seeking permission to enter the Society of Jesus, 
but the Holy Father said to him, "You shall be a Bishop first and 
a Jesuit afterwards." He was consecrated in the Church of St. 
Agatha in Rome, by Cardinal Fransoni, on 15 August, 1843. The 
remaining part of the Diocese of Philadelphia contained fifty-one 
churches in Pennsylvania; four in New Jersey, and three in Dela- 
ware, attended by twenty-nine secular priests, seven Jesuits, four 
Augustinians. The Theological Seminary contained thirty students 
at this time. 


With a truly supernatural instinct, the Pope and the Con- 
gregation of the Propaganda at that time selected men peculiarly 
fitted for the tactful and serious task of governing the Dioceses of 
America. Dr. O'Connor, although only thirty-three years of age, 
had proved himself a remarkable man in his preparatory studies in 
France, and in the College of the Propaganda. After his ordina- 
tion, 1 June, 1833, in his twenty-third year, he had been immedi- 
ately appointed Professor of Holy Scripture, and subsequently 
Vice-Rector of the American College. Bishop Kenrick made his 
acquaintance, and discerning his worth, invited him to come from 
Fermoy in Ireland, whither he had been recalled from Rome. In 
1839 Dr. O'Connor was associated with Bishop Kenrick in the 
St. Charles Seminary, and during the four years following he 
justified the Bishop's trust by his administration of the Seminary 
and his work in organizing St. Francis Xavier's parish. 

Dr. O'Connor's residence in Pittsburg as Vicar General had 
made him familiar with the situation there. He knew the needs 
of the place, and on his way thither he applied from London to 
the Leopoldine Society, and received a contribution of vestments, 
altar-plate, and other accessories of religion. In Ireland he 
made application at Maynooth College, where he secured eight 
seminarians as volunteers for the new diocese. From the mother- 
house in Dublin, a community of Sisters of Mercy accepted 
his invitation to work in Pittsburg. With all of these he safely 
arrived in Pittsburg in December, 1843. The episcopal residence 
was in a hotel. Within his jurisdiction there were thirty-three 
churches, nineteen of brick and stone, and the others frame or log 
structures. The Catholic population scattered through this large 
district numbered 45,000, and of these about 1 2,000 were Germans. 
There were only fourteen priests subject to him. The Sisters of 
Charity conducted an academy together with an orphan asylum. 

Bishop O'Connor at once set about to organize the new dioc- 
ese on the lines which he had learned so well and which had proved 
so successful in Philadelphia. A council of the clergy was called, 
and statutes enacted for the government of the diocese. The Bishop 
began steps for the establishment of a seminary, and where it was 


possible he ordered the erection of parish schools. A chapel was 
opened for the negroes in Pittsburg. A Catholic weekly newspaper, 
The Catholic, was started, and he formed the nucleus of a circu- 
lating library of books for the enlightenment of the people. The 
Sisters of Mercy at once began their work of providing for the 
sick and injured, at first in their modest residence, while they pre- 
pared for the erection of a suitable hospital. A Catholic Beneficial 
Society, called the Brotherhood of St. Joseph, gave the Bishop the 
opportunity of coming into close touch with the men of Pittsburg, 
and of instructing them and training them in the dignity of Catholic 
pioneers of a growing community. All of these works, and the 
energy with which the new Bishop threw himself into each, proved 
the wisdom of the Propaganda in selecting from among the ranks 
of the younger clergy this apostolic man, Michael O'Connor, blessed 
with talent and enthusiasm and religious energy. 

Administration of Bishop Kenrick (Continued). — Na- 
tive American Riots. — Remote Causes of the Riots. 
— Various Disorders and Riots in City, and Envi- 
rons. — Volunteer Hose Companies. — Organization 
of Native American Lodges. — The Bible in the Pub- 
lic Schools. — Burning of St. Michael's Church and 
Convent. — Burning of St. Augustine's. — Grand 
Jury Report. — Protest of Catholics Against this 
Report. — Correspondence on the Subject. 

HE year 1844 is written black in the history of 
Philadelphia, because of the un-American and 
un-Christian scenes of violence that disgraced the 
traditions of the City of Brotherly Love. To 
understand the conditions that terminated in the 
burning of St. Augustine's Church and St. Mi- 
chael's Church and Convent, in May, 1844, and the riotous at- 
tacks on St. Philip's Church, in July of the same year, it is necessary 
to consider the religious and political conditions of the country in 
general, and the logical outcome of these conditions in Philadelphia. 
The cause of the riots here may be safely ascribed to the 
religious revival begun by a concerted action of the Presbyterians 
of the United States, in the second quarter of the century. The 
propaganda of Presbyterianism consisted chiefly in the dissemina- 
tion of anti-Catholic literature, containing the revelations of Maria 
Monk and other "escaped nuns." That these revelations were 
afterwards exposed as falsehoods through the disagreement over 
the division of spoils by the men who profited by the publications, 
does not affect the fact that the obscene pamphlets were widely 
circulated, and made the texts of inflammatory sermons against the 
Catholic Church, as a "foreign power" and a "propagator of wick- 


edness." One of the results was the burning of the convent at 
Charleston, Mass. To these harangues can also be traced the found- 
ing of the Native American political party, whose motto was 
"America for the Americans," and whose principles denied to im- 
migrants and naturalized citizens the right of voting or of holding 
office. While this political-religious movement spread all through 
the eastern districts of the United States, its development and con- 
dition in Philadelphia only are necessary to be considered in its 
relation to the riots. 

The territory that ten years afterwards became consolidated 
as the city of Philadelphia, in 1844, consisted of the city proper, 
from South to Vine Streets between the Delaware and Schuylkill 
rivers. Immediately to the north were the townships of Northern 
Liberties and Kensington; and to the south, Southwark, Moya- 
mensing, and Passyunk. These townships had their own inde- 
pendent government. Each township was made to serve as a refuge 
by criminals from the officers of Justice in any of the others, or in 
the city itself. Under such conditions, where a criminal had but 
to step across a neighboring street to escape arrest, and marauding 
bands worked their will in the city and in the neighboring townships, 
it was perfectly natural that much lawlessness and disorder should 
prevail. The police system of the city and districts was most de- 
fective. The constables were undrilled and undisciplined ; they wore 
no uniforms and were weaponless; and the badge of their office 
was a simple "star," which could be quickly pocketed in times of 
trouble and disturbance. Conscienceless leaders had no difficulty in 
securing partisans among the idle men, who, undeterred by fear of 
the law, repeatedly caused scenes of violence. Many of these dis- 
turbances, usually ending in fatalities, took place between rival 
Volunteer Fire Companies, all of which had a strong following 
of sympathizing friends. The response to the fire-alarm was a 
signal for conflicts between these rival bodies, and frequently the 
fire itself was lost sight of in the fury of combat between the fire- 
men; while often incendiarism was resorted to for the purpose of 
giving occasion for an encounter. Some of the most notable public 
disorders of these years were the famous Wecacoe Hose Company 


Riot, and the Orange Riots at Fifth and Pine Streets, in 1835. 
As their name indicates, the latter were occasioned by an Orange 
celebration on 12 July. In 1828 and 1843 the famous Weavers' 
Riots in Kensington caused calls for the State Militia, which, with 
General Cadwalader at the head, were kept at bay by the Weavers 
ensconced in the Nanny Goat Market, on Washington (now 
American) Street, above Master Street. 

Another pretext for disorderly mobs was the presence of a 
large number of negroes in Philadelphia, ex-slaves and their de- 
scendants, who had been brought here and protected by the Abo- 
litionist members of the Society of Friends. Demagogues wrought 
on the feelings of their hearers, and incited them to violence against 
these negroes so effectively that riots were directed against negroes 
and their supporters in November, 1829, August, 1832, and July, 
1833. On 13 May, 1838, an infuriated mob burned an Orphan 
Asylum for colored children at Thirteenth and Callowhill Streets; 
and on 1 7 May, 1 838, the Pennsylvania Hall, west side of Sixth 
Street above Race Street, was destroyed by fire because it was 
used by the Abolitionists for their meetings. All this gives an idea 
of the ready soil Philadelphia formed for the establishment of a 
branch of the new political party, the Native Americans. 

The first Native American meeting held in this city was in 
Germantown in 1837. Addresses were made, stating in substance 
that, under Presidents Jackson and VanBuren, the Irish were ob- 
taining an undue share of power. A constitution for a permanent 
society was adopted, in which it was stated: "While we invite the 
stranger, worn down by oppression at home, to come and share 
with us the blessings of our native land, and here find an asylum 
for his distress, and partake of the plenty that kind Providence 
has so generously given us, we deny his right (hereby meaning as 
foreigner any immigrant who may hereafter come to this country) 
to have a voice in our Legislative Hall, or his eligibility to hold 
office under any circumstances. We ask the repeal of that Natu- 
ralization Law, which it must be apparent to every reflecting mind, 
and to every true son of America, has now become an evil." This 
movement to a great extent was secret. At first the plan was to 

XXVI. BIGOTRY IN 1843 307 

deny the right of voting to any foreigner, no matter how long he 
remained in the country. This was modified to read that the right 
of franchise should be given after twenty-one years. For a long 
time the Native Americans did not grow in strength, but in De- 
cember, 1843, a meeting was held in Ridge Avenue, near Spring 
Garden Street, which led to the establishment of other branches 
in the North Mulberry, Locust, and Cedar Wards of the City. 
Soon afterwards almost every ward and township in the city and 
county had a Native American Association. Publicly the Native 
Americans declared that they had no hostility to the Roman Catho- 
lic Church; that they were ready to grant it the same tolerance 
as to Protestant creeds ; that no honest Catholic could rightly object 
to the separation of Church and State, and that if the restriction 
of the foreign vote impaired the interests of the Roman Catholics, 
the Protestants who were foreign-born, would also be affected. As 
a matter of fact, however, the majority of participants in the or- 
ganization were moved by prejudices against the Catholic Church, 
and the Irish Catholics were the foreigners against whom the oppo- 
sition was directed. The prejudice of the Native Americans was 
inflamed by the spectacle of the many flourishing Catholic congre- 
gations in the city and its environs, and the recent erection of St. 
Francis', St. Patrick's, St. Phillip's, St. Peter's, and St. Paul's 
churches was made the subject of harangues by their leaders. The 
party gained impetus in Philadelphia by the election in New York 
of a large number of Native American Aldermen, and of James 
Harper, their candidate for Mayor, by a majority of 4,316. 

An interesting light is thrown on conditions in Philadelphia 
at this time by the following extract from a pamphlet published in 
1844, entitled: "The Truth Unveiled; or A Calm and Impartial 
Exposition of the Origin and Immediate Cause of the Terrible 
Riots in Philadelphia on May 6th, 7th, and 8th, A. D. 1844; 
By a Protestant and Philadelphian" : 

At a season, when the feelings of the religious public were excited to 
the highest pitch ; when the Roman Catholics were everywhere spoken against ; 
when prejudice had settled in the minds of the people, and were as firm as our 


Alleghanies, a new measure of hostility was set on foot This was the 
formation of the Protestant Association in the City of Philadelphia; the 
seat of its central action. Good men, and Christian men, were astonished at 
the boldness of this combination of certain sects against a single individual 
body of Christians, — of this union of the many against one. Even those who 
were not known to be under the influence of religious impressions enquired cui 
bono, what good can be reached by such a bold and belligerent course, that 
will in any way compensate for the bitterness and animosity which will assur- 
edly result? Believers in the Gospel, those with whom the faith of the 
Prince of Peace was precious and dear, mourned over the delusions, which in 
fanatical and bigoted blindness had seized upon their brethren, and in the 
gloom of which, they had set at nought the golden principles of their religion, 
and struck at its very spirit, as well as that of our free and equitable institu- 
tions. The formation of such a society was regarded by all who dared to 
think upon matters with reference to their results, as the war-cry for Prot- 
estants to take the field against Catholics ; for the summons to renew the battle, 
in which Christian was to be seen contending with Christian, and the very 
altars of God were desecrated by their priests; who instead of bringing upon 
them the offerings of broken hearts and contrite spirits, cast there the sharpened 
sword without its scabbard, the weapons for bloody strife, that were dedicated 
to the work of religious if rather sectarian persecution. 

And well did the zealous but mistaken leaders of this Association come 
up to its design. Congregations instead of being taught from the pulpit to 
adorn their profession by all the lovely graces of the Gospel, by kind and 
affectionate bearing in the world, by earnest and active endeavors to secure 
for themselves and others, the blessings of peace, were annoyed by inflam- 
matory harangues upon the "great schism", and upon the "abomination of 
the Roman Church'*. The Pope, and the Pope, and the Pope, was the 
beginning and the end of sermons in certain churches ; and women and children 
were frightened with the details of the wicked doings of him of Rome ; whilst 
they who were of the stature of men, were held breathless captives, when 
they were addressed by these orators upon the subject of Papal usurpations, 
and the ecclesiastical domination contemplated by "anti-Christ" in America. 
They were told that there was not a Catholic Church that had not underneath 
it, prepared cells for Protestant heretics; that every priest was a Jesuit in 
disguise, — that the Pope was coming to this country with an army of cas- 
socked followers, and that they would be trebly armed with weapons, con- 
cealed under the folds of the "Babylonish robes". Never did Titus Oates 
detail more horrible conspiracies, in virtue of his station as informer general, 
than did these clerical sentinels; and all that was wanting was the power, 
and such a judge as Jeffries, to make every Roman Catholic expiate his 
"abominable heresy" upon the scaffold, or amid the flames. 


It was a melancholy state of affairs, which the prosecution of the 
object of this Association brought about in this city, once known and 
acknowledged to be the foremost in social harmony and order. It was such 
a state as gave the most positive denial to every claim of an Evangelical 
influence. The peace of the community was disturbed; families were made 
to break asunder the bonds of fellowship; Protestants were warned against 
associations with Catholics for any purpose, and from almost every desk, on 
the day consecrated to holy rest, even from the agitation of human passions, 
intemperate declamations against the "evils of Romanism,'* was sure to be 
heard. Charity, the Evangelical Virtue of divine faith — that Gospel charity, 
which is to survive the faith and hope of the believer, and which is to glow 
brighter and warmer and holier, age after age, throughout all endless eternity 
— this charity was forgotten; and "no compromise with Rome", and no peace 
to her "degraded subjects", were the watchwords of these Protestant crusad- 
ers. All former dissensions among themselves were now hushed. No croak- 
ing from this heretical sect, and no angry disputation from that schismatic, 
were now heard. The angry passions of differing Christians were stilled for 
the season, to be concentrated upon one object, with increased energy and 

It will be well to add here an extract from the document 
published as an appeal for the formation of the Protestant Asso- 
ciation : 

The secular papers frequently appeal to their readers to aid in support- 
ing Roman Catholic Orphan Asylums. An orphan is an object of sympathy 
to every feeling heart; but are we really doing these helpless children a kind- 
ness by assisting to bring them up in the errors of Popery? and are not these 
very children to be hereafter employed as priests and nuns in disseminating 

While the Native American party professed that one of the 
objects of its existence was to prevent a union of Church and State, 
yet again and again, in pamphlets and speeches, the declaration 
was made that "this is a Protestant country." Color could be 
given to this assertion from the fact that even at that date, 1844, 
the Constitutions of the States of New Hampshire and New Jersey 
provided that "no person shall be capable of being elected Senator 
who is not of the Protestant religion"; and, "no person shall be 


eligible for the office of Governor unless he shall be of the Protestant 
religion"; again, "the qualification as Counsellors shall be the same 
as Senators." 

What calm and impartial Protestants thought of the frenzied 
utterances of these demagogues, may be gathered from the follow- 
ing utterances from the pamphlet quoted above: 

A Protestant country? Where is it written; upon what page of our 
statutes; in what decision of our courts, in what journal of our legislature — is 
it declared that this is a Protestant country? Is it to be found in the Charter 
of Charles II granted to William Penn? Is it seen in one of the three 
constitutions that have been adopted by this Commonwealth? Is it discovered 
in our Bill of Rights, or in that attached to the Constitution of the United 
States? Is it told in the Charter given to Lord Baltimore, or is it derived 
from any ordinance, which that Catholic nobleman issued as Proprietary of 
Maryland? Is it even to be discovered in the Constitution of Massachusetts; 
in which State the first dreadful persecution began for religion's sake, by 
Protestant against Protestant; where Quakers and Baptists were hung by 
the Pilgrim Fathers, as they are wont to be termed by their admiring descen- 
dants, and hung too, because they were Protestants? 

Or is it meant that it is a Protestant land, because there is a majority 
of this faith to be found in it? And will Protestants risk an argument for 
the purity of their doctrines by referring to this majority? 

The Protestant communion throughout Christendom is a handful com- 
pared to that of the Catholic; yet is the Protestant willing to submit to the 
conclusion to which his own reasoning would bring him? 

Or is it implied that because it is a Protestant country, that all must 
become so, or tamely submit to the dicta of Protestant sectarianism, be they 
ever so proscriptive and oppressive? And have the minority no rights; espe- 
cially in matters of conscience, and spiritual concern? 

Shame for such Protestantism, — shame for such Christianity, — shame 
for such Americanism! We talk about the Inquisition and its cruelties; and 
yet to what shall such a policy and such principles be compared? Servetus 
was a solitary individual in Geneva; and a Protestant majority in that Prot- 
estant city, led on by the Protestant Calvin, burnt him. The poor Protestants, 
Quakers and Baptists were a minority in Boston, and they were hung by 
Protestants, who came to this land on account of religious persecution, as they 
said. But they who did such damning deeds were a majority and it was 
a "Protestant country" and being that majority and being Protestants, par 
excellence, they had the right to take the lives of the few, who would not 
bend their consciences to the beck of numbers. 


The tirades of preachers and public speakers naturally ex- 
cited the minds of the people, and a deplorable application of the 
principles inculcated by these demagogues was made by certain 
teachers in some of the public schools, who in their blind zeal and 
bigotry thus offended against the rules made by the Controllers of 
Public Schools, as the Board of Education was then known. In 
1 834, in accordance with the prevailing views of Philadelphians in 
respect to the rights of conscience, the following resolutions had 
been adopted: 



Resolutions passed 9 December, 1834. 

Whereas, The Controllers have noticed that the practice exists in some of 
the schools of introducing religious exercises, and books of a religious char- 
acter, which have not been recommended or adopted by this Board in the 
lessons prepared for the use of the scholars, and believing the use of such 
exercises or books may have a tendency to produce an influence in the schools 
of a sectarian character, 

IT IS RESOLVED, That this Board, as conservators of the rights 
of parents or guardians of children, committed to the care of teachers, em- 
ployed according to law, for the purpose of public education, are bound to 
preserve those rights unimpaired: 

RESOLVED, That the Constitution of the State of Pennsylvania, 
which has provided for the establishment of Public Schools, has also wisely 
guaranteed the right of all to worship according to the dictates of their 
conscience; and as the parents of children have both by law and nature the 
guardianship of them during their minority, so they alone are responsible for 
the effects of such guardianship; and their right to impress the minds of their 
children with such views of a religious nature as they may think most impor- 
tant, ought not to be interfered with, especially by a body exercising its 
authority by virtue of the laws of the Commonwealth: 

RESOLVED, That as all sects contribute in the payment of taxes 
to the support of Public Schools, the introduction of any religious or sectarian 
forms as a part of the discipline of the Schools, must have a tendency to 
impair the rights of some — and that whilst this Board is convinced of the 
utter impossibility of adopting a system of religious instruction that should 
meet the approbation of all religious societies, they are equally satisfied no 
injury may result to the pupils from confining the instruction in our schools 
to the ordinary branches of elementary education ; inasmuch as ample facilities 


for religious improvement are presented for the choice of parents or guardians, 
in Sabbath Schools, and other establishments for that purpose, which are 
organized and supported by various religious communities: 

RESOLVED, That the ground of universal benevolence is one on 
which all sects or parties may meet ; and it must be on this ground alone, that 
our Public Schools can be continued as a public good; and in prohibiting 
the introduction of religious forms in them, this Board will evade the rights 
of none, but on the contrary, by so doing, it will maintain the rights of all; 
and therefore 

RESOLVED, That this Board cannot but consider the introduction or 
use of any religious exercises, books, or lessons into the Public Schools, which 
have not been adopted by the Board, as contrary to law; and the use of 
any such religious exercises, books or lessons, is hereby directed to be dis- 

When the un-American conduct of teachers who had attacked 
the faith of some of their pupils during their class instructions, was 
brought to the attention of Bishop Kenrick, he addressed the fol- 
lowing communication to the Board of Controllers: 


Gentlemen: — Sympathy for a respectable lady who has been deprived 
for many months past of her only means of support, for following the dictates 
of her conscience, and solemn sense of duty to the Catholic community, whose 
religious interests are intrusted to my guardianship, prompt me to submit 
respectfully to your consideration the conscientious objections of Catholics to 
the actual regulations of the Public Schools. 

Among them I am informed one is, that the teachers shall read, and 
cause to be read, the Bible; by which is understood the version published 
by command of King James. To this regulation we are forced to object, 
inasmuch as Catholic children are thus led to view as authoritative a version 
which is rejected by the Church. It is not expected that I should state in 
detail the reasons of this rejection. I shall only say, that several books of 
Divine Scripture are wanting in that version, and that the meaning of the 
original text is not faithfully expressed. It is not incumbent on us to prove 
either position, since we do not ask you to adopt the Catholic version for 
general use; but we feel warranted in claiming that our conscientious scruples 
to recognize or use the other, be respected. In Baltimore, the Directors of 
the Public Schools have thought it their duty to provide Catholic children 
with the Catholic version. Is it too much for us to expect the same measure 
of justice? 


The consciences of Catholics are also embarrassed by the mode of 
opening and closing the school exercises, which I understand is by the singing 
of some hymn or by prayer. It is not consistent with the laws and discipline 
of the Catholic Church for their members to unite in religious exercises with 
those who are not of her communion. We offer up prayers and supplications 
to God for all men; we embrace all in the sincerity of Christian affection; 
but we confine the marks of religious brotherhood to those who are of the 
household of the faith. Under the influence of this conscientious scruple, we 
ask that Catholic children be not required to join in the singing of hymns or 
other religious exercises. 

I have been assured that several of the books used in the Public Schools 
and still more those contained in the libraries attached to them, contain 
misrepresentations of our tenets, and statements to our prejudice, equally 
groundless and injurious. It is but just to expect that the books used in the 
schools shall contain no offensive matter, and that the books decidedly hostile 
to our faith shall not, under any pretext, be placed in the hands of Catholic 

The school law, which provides that "religious predilections of the 
parents shall be respected", was evidently framed in the spirit of our Consti- 
tution, which holds the rights of conscience to be inviolable. Public education 
should be conducted on principles which will afford its advantages to all 
classes of the community, without detriment to their religious convictions. 
Religious liberty must be especially guarded in children, who, of themselves 
are unable to guard against the wiles or assault of others. I appeal, then, 
gentlemen, with confidence, to your justice, that the regulations of the schools 
may be modified so as to give to Catholic pupils and teachers equal rights, 
without wounding tender consciences. 

For my interposition in this matter, besides the responsibility of my sta- 
tion, I have specially to plead the assurance I have received from a respectable 
source, that some desire had been expressed to know distinctly from me what 
modifications Catholics desire in the school system. It was also suggested 
that an appeal of this kind would receive every just consideration from the 
Board; and would anticipate effectually the danger of public excitement on 
a point on which the community is justly sensitive — the sacred rights of 

With great respect I remain, gentlemen, your obedient servant, 

+ Francis Patrick, Bishop of Philadelphia. 
Philadelphia, \ 4th Nov., 1842. 

As the Bishop's action was one which every Christian under 
like circumstances would feel himself called upon to demand, the 
Board of Control, after consideration, passed the following reso- 
lutions : 


RESOLVED, that no children be required to attend or unite in the 
reading of the Bible in the Public Schools, whose parents are conscientiously 
opposed thereto: 

RESOLVED, that those children whose parents conscientiously prefer 
and desire any particular version of the Bible, without note or comment, be 
furnished with the same. 

Relying on the good faith of the directors and teachers to 
execute the regulations of the Board, no further action was taken 
on the subject by the Catholics. It became apparent, however, 
after some time, that the regulations were not observed in most of 
the schools, and that Catholic teachers and children were aggrieved 
in many instances by attempts to force them to use the Protestant 
version of the Bible. A Board of Catholic laymen, therefore, ad- 
dressed a respectful petition to the Board of Control, praying them 
to enforce their own regulations, and a similar address was made 
by the Bishop. The Board of Control thereupon adopted resolu- 
tions requiring the observance of the regulations by the teachers 
under the penalty of forfeiture of salary. 

In the district of Kensington, the resolutions of the Board of 
Control were disregarded by one of the female teachers, and the 
provision concerning Catholic children flagrantly scouted. This con- 
duct, so disrespectful to authority, demanded notice, and accordingly 
one of the district directors called the attention of the teacher to the 
existing regulations. Although the action of this Catholic director 
was sustained by all his associate directors, all of whom were Prot- 
estants, the leaders of the Native American party made capital of 
the incident for their purposes. "The Bible in the Public Schools" 
then became the shibboleth of the movement. The minds of the 
people were abused with the report that an attempt had been made 
to remove the Bible from the Public Schools, and a "holy horror 
was expressed by individuals who, after they had reached their ma- 
jority, never read two consecutive chapters of the sacred volume 
in their lives." Public meetings were called in Kensington and 
elsewhere. "The feelings of the people were operated upon by 
inflammatory addresses against 'Roman Catholics,' 'the Pope,' 
'the Hierarchy of Rome,' 'Jesuits,' 'the Inquisition,' 'priestly con- 


spirators,' etc. ! The storm had been raised, and Protestant clergy- 
men, not one of whom was a Philadelphian, succeeded by their 
violent language in making that storm a perfect whirlwind." A 
prompt disclaimer of any intention to oust the Bible from the schools 
was published by Bishop Kenrick in all the city papers, 1 3 March, 

Catholics have not asked that the Bible be excluded from the Public 
Schools. They have merely desired for their children the liberty of using 
the Catholic Version in case the reading of the Bible be prescribed by the 
Controllers or Directors of the Schools. They only desire to enjoy the 
benefit of the Constitution of the State of Pennsylvania, which guarantees the 
right of conscience, and precludes any preference of sectarian modes of wor- 
ship. They ask that the School laws be faithfully executed, and that "the 
religious predilections of the parents be respected." They ask that the regula- 
tions of the Controllers of the Public Schools, adopted in December, 1834, 
be followed up, and that the resolutions of the same body adopted in January, 
1 843, be adhered to. They desire that the Public Schools be preserved from 
all sectarian influence and that education be conducted in a way that may 
enable all citizens equally, to share in its benefits, without any violence being 
offered to their religious convictions. 

Three of the secular papers of Philadelphia, violent organs 
of Native Americanism, day after day, abused the "Irish Papists," 
"the miscreant Irish," "the degraded slaves of the Pope." The 
political side of Native Americanism was seen in its true form of 
religious bigotry. Many enrolled themselves members who had 
before been indifferent to the avowed object of the Association, 
and, as a contemporary writer said: 

If the Native American party be not sectarian, how comes it that for 
months past in the vile organs of this party, day after day, the leading edi- 
torials have nothing but the most abusive and inflammatory and vulgar tirades 
against "Irish Papists"? If the Native American party be not sectarian, if 
it be true in its profession of opposition to all foreigners, how is it that it is 
only against the "miscreant Irish" that they have opened their batteries? Are 
there no Protestant Irishmen amongst us? Yet not a word is said against 
them. Are there no German Catholics and Protestants amongst us? Yet 
they are never the object of proscription. Are there no English, and Scotch, 


and French in our community? Who has ever heard them pointed out by 
these exclusive patriots? It has been the constant change rung upon this 
alarm-bell, "the Irish," "the degraded Irish Papists." If none but Native 
Americans are to constitute the party, how is that hordes of Irish Protestants 
have attended their meetings, and have been welcomed with joy by these 
saviours of their country? 

The district of Kensington was inhabited almost entirely by 
the Irish from the north of Ireland and their descendants, Catholic 
and Protestant. Here, therefore, more than in any other part of 
Philadelphia County, the old war between the Orange and the 
Green continued. The anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne 
was always celebrated by conflicts. The new St. Michael's Church, 
its flourishing school and convent, had been an irritant to the True 
Blues of the district, and here the Native American party found 
its most zealous adherents. Alderman Clark, who was a Roman 
Catholic, and one of the most influential men of the district, found 
it necessary, early in 1 844, to call the attention of one of the teachers 
in the Public School at Second and Master Streets, to the fact 
that the regulations of the Board of Control of Public Education 
were not being observed, and that discrimination was being prac- 
tised against Catholic teachers and Catholic pupils. This action 
of Alderman Clark seems to have been the culmination of the re- 
ligious differences in Kensington. A Native American meeting was 
called on the afternoon of Friday, 3 May, 1844, on the open lot 
next to the Public School at Second and Master Streets. The 
platform on which the speakers stood was a flimsy structure, and 
while the meeting was in progress, a Catholic resident of the dis- 
trict drove his cart loaded with sand into the midst of the crowd, 
as if it had been composed of thin air. The platform was over- 
turned, and the meeting broke up in disorder. On the following 
Monday afternoon, 6 May, another meeting was held in the same 
place. The staging was erected against the fence of the school, 
and Mr. Samuel R. Kramer, editor of the Native American, took 
his stand, and proceeded to conclude the speech which had been 
so rudely interrupted on Friday afternoon. A certain General 

XXVI. THE RIOTS OF 1844 317 

Smith made an address, and then Mr. Lewis C. Levin, editor of the 
Daily Sun, who was the main instigator of the Native American 
party, ascended the rostrum, but his speech was interrupted by a 
storm of wind and rain. The meeting was adjourned to the Nanny 
Goat Market on Washington (now American) Street, above Mas- 
ter Street. The rush for shelter to avoid the rain, the hallooing 
and shouting of the crowd, caused considerable confusion, and it 
seemed as though the meeting had been dispersed in the same 
fashion as had the one on Friday afternoon. Scarcely was the 
meeting reorganized in the market house when a scuffling took 
place among the crowd, and some score of persons rushed out into 
the street. Stones and bricks were interchanged, and pistol shots 
were fired by persons on both sides. At the report of the firearms, 
a majority of the people at the meeting dispersed precipitately. 
Many took up their position at the south end of the market, where 
they displayed the American flag. During the stone-throwing, an 
attack was made on the Hibernian Hose Company, situated on 
Cadwalader Street west of the market. This attack was resented 
by the members of the Hose Company with firearms, and a general 
riot ensued. The frame-house on Master Street between Cadwal- 
ader Street and Germantown Road was stormed, and the windows 
and door were demolished. The other frame-houses on Cadwalader 
Street below Master Street, shared a like fate. Volleys of bricks 
and stones were kept up continuously by the Native Americans at 
the south end of the market, and by groups of men and boys along 
the street. Finally, a party of Catholics rallied at Germantown 
Road and Master Street, and charged the opposition with stones 
and guns. In the general firing which took place several persons 
were wounded, and a young man named George Shiffler, aged 1 8, 
was shot and killed while holding the American flag. A contem- 
porary pamphlet entitled Full and Complete Account of the Late 
Awful Riots in Philadelphia says: 

The Irish population were in a dreadful state of excitement, and even 
women and boys joined in the affray, some of the women actually throwing 
missiles. Many of them when they temporarily retreated, returned armed 
with fire-arms, which they discharged sometimes with particular aim at inch- 


viduals engaged on the other side, and at other times firing indiscriminately in 
the several groups, on the larger body of the belligerents. Many of the women 
who were not engaged with weapons, incited the men to vigorous action, point- 
ing out where they could operate with more effect, and cheering them on and 
rallying them to a renewal of the conflict whenever their spirits fell or they 
were compelled to retreat. 

As in most other riots which we have noticed in our city and county, 
small and half-grown boys formed no inconsiderable portion of the combat- 
ants on both sides, and contended with the most sanguinary spirit. 

From what we could see and gather from persons on the spot, we 
believe the following is the origin of the affray: After the reorganization of 
the meeting in the market-house, and Mr. Levin had taken his position with 
the view of resuming his speech, some difficulty occurred on the western side 
of the market-house, just inside, between two persons named Fields and 
McLaughlin, which originated in some discussion, and led to an interference 
on the part of two or three others, one of whom, a young fellow, drew a 
pair of pistols, threatening to shoot the first man who should dare molest him. 
At this instant, a man who had taken part in the affair stepped off towards 
the Hibernia Hose House, and defied him to fire. A shot then took place, 
which was followed by repeated discharges from both sides, from one of 
which Patrick Fisher received his wounds. 

The contest continued for more than an hour. At dark, large bodies 
of men and boys were congregated at various points, and everything indicated 
a resumption of the outrages. The Sheriff was on the ground after the 
severest part of the conflict, and was effecting arrangements to secure future 
peace and quietness. Those that were injured were engaged in the fight. 

During the night the utmost disorder reigned; houses were set 
afire, windows demolished; and an attack was made on the Con- 
vent at the corner of Second and Phoenix (now Thompson) Streets. 
It was rumored that an attempt was to be made to fire St. Michael's 
Church, and many of the residents armed themselves and took 
places near the church, determined to protect it at any cost. Squads 
of armed men paraded the district, and attacked the homes of the 
Catholics. Many of these, driven from their homes, their effects 
thrown into the streets, fled — men, women and children, in terror 
out Master Street, and found refuge in a copse of woods at Eight- 
eenth and Jefferson Streets, on the site of what is now the Home 
of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Here they spent the night with- 
out either shelter or food, and afraid for their lives. The Hon. 


George M. Stroud, Judge of the District Court, whose house stood 
near the woods, with several other residents of the vicinity, did all 
in their power to succor these poor people, but there were so many 
of them that Judge Stroud had to call the attention of Mr. Paul 
Reilly, an officer of the court, to the distressed condition of the 
refugees. Mr. Reilly, who lived in St. Patrick's parish, hired a 
furniture car, and, with the assistance of several other generous 
Irishmen in the neighborhood, loaded it with meats and bread and 
blankets, and thus provided for the poor people who had taken 
shelter in the woods. 

On the following day, Tuesday, 7 May, placards were found 
posted throughout the city, over the signature of Bishop Kenrick, 
calling upon his people to humble themselves before God, because 
of the tragic and horrifying events of the previous days, and beg- 
ging them to keep away from all public places of meeting, and to 
avoid everything that might tend to encourage the party of perse- 
cution. He earnestly counselled peace, and above all things charity, 
that virtue without which, he reminded the people, no man can see 
God. These placards were torn down by the Native American 
zealots, who held a mass-meeting in the State House yard, at Sixth 
and Walnut Streets, at half-past three o'clock in the afternoon. 
Thomas R. Newbold was elected President; A. DeKalb Tarr, 
the Rev. John Gihon, of the Universalist Church, Thomas D. 
Grover, J. C. Green, and J. D. Fox, were selected as Vice-Presi- 
dents; James L. Gihon, A. R. Peale, and Lewis C. Levin were 
appointed Secretaries. Speeches were made by W. Hollingshead, 
Esq., Col. C. J. Jack, the Rev. John Perry, and others. Incensed 
by the recital of the scenes of the day before, and, unmoved by 
the President's appeal, who suggested that, if they did go into 
Kensington, they should comport themselves as orderly citizens, the 
crowd passed a resolution to adjourn instantly to Second and Mas- 
ter Streets. Gathering others all along the way, the mob, now 
2,000 to 3,000 strong, proceeded with banners and flags to the scene 
of Monday's disorders, and at once attacked the house of the 
Hibernia Hose Company. Instantly firing on both sides opened, 
and many persons were killed and wounded. Throughout Ken- 


sington and Northern Liberties there was feverish excitement. Sev- 
eral houses of Catholics were set on fire, and a large number re- 
moved their effects to other parts of the city. On many of the 
houses was displayed the legend, "No Popery here," which secured 
immunity from the rioters. General Cadwalader issued an order for 
the assembling of the whole military force of the First Brigade, 
which was to stand ready for the requisition of the Sheriff of the 
County, Morton McMichael. 

On the evening of Tuesday, General Cadwalader, with his 
Brigade, proceeded to the neighborhood of Second and Jefferson 
Streets, where a conflagration enveloping twenty or thirty buildings 
and the Washington Market-House was raging. A report that arms 
were stored in St. Michael's Church was circulated, and General 
Cadwalader took possession of the edifice. Many arrests were made 
of the rioters on both sides, and each arrest was a new cause of 
trouble from the men attempting rescue. With the military stationed 
as guards to form a cordon around the troublesome district, it seemed 
as if the disturbance was at an end. 

At eight o'clock on Wednesday morning, the Monroe Guards 
under the command of General Small, and the Philadelphia Ca- 
dets under Capt. White, relieved the Jackson Artillerists under 
Capt. Hubble, and the National Guard under Capt. Tustin, who 
had been on duty all night. Large crowds assembled in the neigh- 
borhood going about searching the premises of the remaining Irish 
inhabitants for fire-arms. Several skirmishes took place between 
the military and the excited groups. At half-past two on Wed- 
nesday afternoon, the Church of St. Michael's, although under 
the protection of the military, was set on fire, with the priests' house 
on the north, and some small frame-dwellings on the south. At 
ten o'clock in the morning Father Loughran, assistant to Father 
Donoghoe, who was out of the city, had given the keys of the 
church to Capt. Jonas Fairlamb of the Wayne Artillery Corps. 
The captain and his company patrolled the district, but during the 
afternoon they were lured to an excitement at Washington and 
Jefferson Streets, and during their absence the church was fired. 
Whilst the church was burning a shouting mob surrounded the 


building, and, when the cross fell from the roof, three rousing 
cheers were given; the streets rang with the cry: "To hell with the 
Pope and O'Connell!" and the Fife and Drum Corps played the 
"Boyne Water," the favorite tune of Irish Orangemen, and the 
cause of the shedding of much blood in Ireland. At four o'clock 
in the afternoon the Convent at Second and Phoenix Streets was 
fired and burned to the ground. The Temperance Grocery Store 
of Mr. Joseph Corr at the north-east corner of Second and Phcenix 
Streets, and the houses of Alderman Hugh Clark and his brother, 
Patrick Clark, at Fourth and Master Streets, were entirely de- 
stroyed; "the furniture thrown out of the windows, and the beds 
cut open, and the feathers scattered about in the wind." The 
three-story brick house occupied as a grocery store by Patrick Mur- 
ray was attacked, and the furniture broken and thrown into the 
street. The City Guards under the command of Capt. Hill were 
kept busy, being called from one scene of disorder to another, 
usually arriving after the harm was complete, and finding that in 
their absence some disorder had taken place in another part of the 

During the early evening, the mob, now intoxicated with its 
successes in devastating the district of Kensington, moved in a body 
to St. Augustine's Church, on Fourth Street below Vine Street. 
The intended attack was not unexpected by Mayor Scott, and, as 
the church was within the limits of the city, he immediately repaired 
to the spot upon horseback with a body of the City Police, and 
addressed the rioters. The police were posted around the church 
property, but as the crowd still increased, the First City Troop 
was ordered out, and were upon the ground in a short time. The 
priests of the parish put the ecclesiastical property under the Mayor's 
protection. In spite of military and police, however, at ten minutes 
to ten, fire was seen breaking out of the vestibule, having been 
ignited, it was said, by a boy fourteen years of age. With great 
rapidity the flames spread, and at twenty minutes after ten the cross 
surmounting the steeple fell with a loud crash, amid the plaudits 
of the mob. The entire church property, including school and 
monastery, with its magnificent library, perished. The books, form- 


ing the best collection in this part of the country, were carried out 
by the mob and burned in the street, or mutilated and scattered 
about. This destruction of the property of St. Augustine's Church 
by the mob is an interesting commentary on Father Hurley's charity 
in 1832, when these same buildings were turned over to the city 
to be used as a public hospital for the plague-stricken, when of 
the 367 patients nursed there, only 48 were Catholics! 

The morning sun rose on the charred ruins of two Catholic 
churches, two Catholic rectories and convents, and the scattered 
ashes of the library that could not be replaced. High above the 
ruins of St. Augustine's, and clear against the background of the 
blackened walls, just over the spot where lately had stood the altar 
consecrated to God's service, the legend: "The Lord Seeth," 
unmarked by the flames, struck terror to the hearts of the curious 
multitude that assembled. 

All night excitement had prevailed. The Catholic citizens 
were in terror of their lives, and the military was called on to 
protect the various Catholic churches in the city and environs. On 
the day after the burning of St. Augustine's, Mayor Scott called a 
meeting of citizens, and 1 0,000 people assembled in the State House 
yard. John Reed was appointed Chairman, and Frederick Frailey, 
Secretary. Addresses were made by Horace Binney and John K. 
Kane. Resolutions were adopted recommending citizens to "forth- 
with enroll and hold themselves in readiness to maintain the laws 
and protect the public peace under the direction of the constituted 
authorities of the City, County, and State." Other resolutions 
pledging support of the authorities were adopted, among which was 
one requesting citizens to meet in their several wards at the places 
of holding ward elections, "there to organize under the constituted 
authorities in support of peace and order." The aldermen of the 
wards organized the companies. Each man was furnished with a 
white muslin badge to be worn around his hat. The badge bore 
the words "Peace Police." The watchers were divided into patrols 
for the blocks and divisions of each ward, and they were on duty 
all night. All the avenues leading to St. Mary's and St. Joseph's 
churches were guarded by troops, and a strong military force was 


established at Thirteenth and Market Streets for the protection of 
St. John's. Similar precautions were taken at St. Patrick's and St. 
Philip's churches, and in each district the Catholic citizens assem- 
bled in numbers prepared to protect their sacred edifices. The 
local newspaper of this date states: 

During the whole of the day a large and torn American flag was dis- 
played at the corner of Second and Franklin Streets, over which was a printed 
placard announcing that 'This is the flag which was trampled upon by the 
Irish Papists.*' This created great excitement, and what was surprising was, 
that the Sheriff nor any of the police thought it worth while to take charge of 
and remove the exciting placard. Throughout the day, boys were firing off 
pistols in every quarter, evidently for the purpose of keeping up the excitement 

Volunteer companies of militia from the country districts ar- 
rived in the city, and Governor Porter himself took charge of the 
situation. Martial law was declared, and the Girard Bank at 
Third and Chestnut Streets was made the military headquarters. 
Extra watchmen were sworn in, and bodies of armed citizens with 
the military and civil force patrolled the city, aided by the officers 
and the crew of the U. S. "SS. Princeton," then in the harbor. 
By orders of Major General Paterson, the Lafayette Life Guard 
under Lieut. Pierce, and the Independent Rifles under Capt. Flor- 
ence, were detailed for the protection of St. Philip's Church in 
Queen Street, and the Wayne Artillery under Capt. Fairlamb, for 
the protection of St. Paul's Church in Christian Street, while Briga- 
dier General Roumfort was ordered to detail a guard for the pro- 
tection of St. Francis' Church in Fairmount. The Lancaster 
Fencibles under Capt. Findley were detailed for duty at the State 
Arsenal, Juniper and Filbert Streets. These various commands 
were relieved by the Lancaster and Dauphin Volunteers, under 
Major Hambright, and the German Battalion under Major Dith- 
mar, and the First City Troop under Capt. Butler, while a large 
reserve of troops was held at the headquarters in the Girard Bank. 
These military companies relieved one another in the guarding of 
the Catholic churches and the city property. All the forces were 
under the direction of Brigadier General Hubbel. Within the city 
proper, the Major General ordered Gen. Cadwalader to detail the 


Hibernian Greens, under Capt. Mullen, for the protection of St. 
Mary's Church, and the Montgomery Hibernia Greens, under 
Capt. Colahan, for the protection of Trinity Church, at Sixth and 
Spruce Streets, and the Orphan Asylum, at Seventh and Spruce 
Streets. All week the city was held in terror. Arrests of the 
rioters, and the funerals of those killed in the riots became fresh 
occasions of disorder, while rumors of arms stored in Catholic homes 
and Catholic churches, were the constant cause of alarm. 

By a letter dated 10 May, Bishop Kenrick directed a tem- 
porary suspension of all public worship in the city, and exhorted the 
Catholics once more to bear patiently the trials of the hour. This 
letter, reminding one of the days of persecution in the time of the 
Roman Emperors, brought shame to the right-minded members of 
the community, and to the public authorities a true sense of the situ- 
ation. By the Bishop's direction, the Blessed Sacrament was re- 
moved from the churches, to the homes of some of the devout laity, 
and the Bishop himself, night and day, walked about the city, 
watching the threatened buildings, and noting whether they were 
properly guarded or not. Dr. William V. Keating, one of the 
Bishop's personal friends, has left on record the statement that when 
the prelate was asked to give permission to some Catholics to arm 
themselves, and defend one of the threatened churches, he replied: 

Never my people; I have placed my churches under the care of the 
Municipal authorities; it is their duty to protect them. Rather let every 
church burn than shed one drop of blood or imperil one precious soul. 

It required, moreover, the repeated solicitations of his friends 
to induce the Bishop to leave his perilous position in the rectory of 
St. John's, and accept the hospitality of the Rev. Dr. Tyng, a 
Protestant clergyman. In the house of another Protestant gen- 
tleman, Mr. Joseph Swift, at Twelfth and Chestnut Streets, who 
had placed his whole house at the disposal of the priests of St. 
John's, the Blessed Sacrament was placed. 

On the following Sunday no service was held in any of the 
Catholic churches. A contemporary newspaper account states: 


The scene of the riots yesterday presented a spectacle of perfect desola- 
tion. Ruin lifted its wan and haggard head through the blackened and 
yawning walls on every side, while the emblem of mourning and death hung 
from the muffled knocker and partly-closed shutter. It was a heart-sickening 
sight, the like of which we hope we may never again look upon in this or 
any other city ; and next to this, the humiliating display of the American bunt- 
ing as a means of protecting the property of any class or sect of the citizens 
from the prejudices or destructive propensities of another. Rows of houses 
for several squares round the infected district, and in fact for some distance 
out in the suburbs, have small tri-colored flags protruded from the windows — 
a sight mortifying and humiliating to those who have been taught to believe 
that our laws afford equal and efficient protection to all. 

It would be difficult to estimate in money value the damage 
done by the rioters. It is a matter of record that more than forty 
dwelling-houses were destroyed with their contents, while over two 
hundred families were rendered homeless, and forced to wander in 
the suburbs of the county for fear of their lives. The church prop- 
erty destroyed amounted to over $1 50,000. And the public papers 
and the city property destroyed would probably reach the value of 
another $100,000. More than sixty persons were seriously 
wounded, while forty lives were sacrificed in this religious conflict. 

The Coroner held inquests, 7 and 8 May, on the bodies 
of George Shiffler and Lewis Greble and others who had been 
killed in the riots. The account of the inquest declares: "The 
Coroner wishes it stated that after the strictest inquiry, he has not 
been able to identify a single person that fired a gun during the riots 
at Kensington." Nevertheless, several arrests were made during the 
week, and the Grand Jury returned twenty-two bills of indictment, 
with the presentment to the Court that contained the following aston- 
ishing statement — speaking of the causes which led to the riots: 

The Grand Jury ascribe them to the efforts of a portion of the com- 
munity to exclude the Bible from our Public Schools. The jury are of the 
opinion that these efforts in some measure gave rise to the formation of a new 
party, which called and held public meetings in the district of Kensington, 
in the peaceful exercise of the sacred rights and privileges guaranteed to every 
citizen by the Constitution and Laws of our State and Country. These meet- 
ings were rudely disturbed and fired upon by a band of lawless, irresponsible 


men, some of whom had resided in our country only a short period. This 
outrage, causing the death of a number of our unoffending citizens, led to 
immediate retaliation, and was followed by subsequent acts of aggression in 
violation and open defiance of all law. 

A public meeting of Catholic citizens was held at the Cathedral 
on the evening of 1 8 June, when the Honorable Archibald Randall 
was called to the chair, and William Stokes appointed Secretary. 
These two gentlemen, with Dr. Nancrede, Charles Repplier, and 
Dr. F. S. Eckard, were appointed members of a committee to draw 
up an address to the public in answer to these charges by the Grand 
Jury. In this address, the resolution of the Controllers of the Public 
Schools, the action taken to enforce these resolutions, the Bishop's 
disclaimer, which had been published in the city papers, 1 3 March, 
giving the Catholic position, and careful statement showing the un- 
fairness of the Grand Jury's verdict, in the face of the known facts, 
were rehearsed. The following correspondence was published as 
part of the address: 

Philadelphia, 19 June, 1844. 

GENTLEMEN: — The recent presentment of the Grand Jury assigned as 
one cause of the late riots: "The efforts made by a portion of the community 
to exclude the Bible from the Public Schools." 

Will you be good enough to state as Directors of the Public Schools 
of the City of Philadelphia, whether, as far as the Roman Catholics are con- 
cerned, they have asked for the exclusion of the Bible from the Public Schools ; 
whether they have ever interfered with the use of the Protestant version of 
the Scriptures by Protestant children, and if with reference to the Bible 
they have not simply asked for their own children, permission to use that version 
of the Bible which, as a matter of conscience, they prefer? 

As members of various Protestant communions, you cannot be suspected 
of any undue feeling towards the Religious denomination referred to. 
We remain, &c. 

Frederick S. Eckard, Jno. Keating, 
Joseph Donath, Robert Ewing. 

Messrs. Frederick S. Eckard and others: 

GENTLEMEN: — In answer to the request contained in your note, that I 
would state "whether as far as Roman Catholics are concerned, they have 
asked for the exclusion of the Bible from the Public Schools,*' I reply, that 


to my knowledge, as a Director of the Public Schools of the City of Phila- 
delphia, and a Controller of those of both City and county, (which office 
I have held for several years) no such request has ever been made, nor do 
I know of any efforts on their part with the alleged object in view. The 
Records of the Board of Control will show the purpose to have been such 
as is mentioned in your note. 

It is proper to add, that there may have been efforts on the part of 
individuals belonging to the Roman Catholic communion to exclude the Bible 
from the Schools, of which I know nothing. None, however, have been 
manifested either to the Directors or Controllers referred to, nor have come 
to my knowledge as an individual. 

With much respect and regard, 

G. M. Wharton. 
Philadelphia, 19 June, 1844. 
As Directors of the Public Schools, we concur in the above. 

J. C. Fisher. 
Ch. Gibbons. 

Philadelphia, 20 June, 1 844. 
GENTLEMEN: In reply to your communication of the 19th instant, we 
state as Directors of the Public Schools of the City of Philadelphia, that 
Roman Catholics have not, to our knowledge, asked for the exclusion of the 
Bible from the Public Schools. That they have not interfered with the 
use of the Protestant version of the Scriptures by Protestant children; and 
finally, that, with reference to the Bible, they have simply asked for their 
own children, permission to use that version of the Bible, which as a matter 
of conscience, they prefer. 

Respectfully, &c. 

George W. Biddle, John F. Gilpin, 
Wm. W. Moore, Edward Hopper. 

To Messrs. F. S. Eckard, Joseph Donath, John Keating, Robert Ewing. 

Philadelphia, 18 June, 1844. 
Dear Sir: You have directed my attention to a part of the present- 
ment made by the Grand Jury for May, 1844, in which one of the exciting 
causes of the scenes of riot and bloodshed so recently exhibited, is said to 
have been "the efforts of a portion of the community to exclude the Bible 
from our Public Schools"; and you have requested me as being in some 
measure cognizant of the circumstances, having been a Director of Public 
Schools in the First Section (the City) during the last four years, to state 
whether the above supposed allusion to a large and respectable denomination 
of Christians, has to the best of my knowledge, any foundation in truth. 


Without feeling disposed to assent to the conclusions so logically deduced by 
the Grand Jury in the sequence of facts and inferences which they have put 
forth to the public, I take great pleasure in briefly relating a few circum- 
stances which I think will clearly show that as far as the City of Philadelphia 
is concerned, the imputation attempted to be fastened upon the population is 
wholly unfounded. 

In the Spring 1842, whilst I had the honor to sit in the Board of Direc- 
tors for this section, a case occurred in a neighboring section growing out of 
the use of a version of the Scriptures in the schools, not recognized as the 
true one by all denominations, which enlisted my feelings from its involving 
what I thought a violation of the civil and religious liberty guaranteed by 
the Constitution to every individual. With a view therefore to prevent a 
similar occurrence in the first section to which I was attached, and supposing 
the opportunity favorable to calm and rational discussion, as we in the City 
at least had not yet pledged ourselves to proscription, I introduced into the 
Board of Directors two or three resolutions which proposed to disuse the 
Bible as a class book in the schools. My motives for so doing were not con- 
fined to the single view of the case then presented, bearing only upon a portion 
of the community, but were intended to provide against any similar contin- 
gency which might in future bring religious opinion into collision with the 
acknowledged right of all to the benefit of a common fund. In preparing 
therefore the resolutions, as their object was one of peculiar remedy, nor their 
spirit a passing one, I consulted no member of the religious persuasion to 
which they were then chiefly applicable, upon the step I was about to take; 
nay farther, as innovation always subjects its author to severe and often de- 
served censure, I concluded that it would be better to adopt the exclusive 
paternity of the measure, and allow it to rest upon its real or supposed merits 
alone, when introduced for discussion. This was so much the fact, that a 
seconder to the resolutions had not even been provided, when brought before 
the consideration of the Board; as I trusted to the love of fair play and free- 
dom of discussion which characterize most of our public bodies. The subject 
was regularly debated, and the Board by a nearly unanimous vote negatived 
the resolutions, five gentlemen only voting with the mover in the affirmative. 
Amongst these six but one was a Catholic, and I understood at the time, 
though for the accuracy of the report I cannot answer, that he regretted that 
the matter had been broached. 

Such is a brief outline of what has occurred in the first section of this 
school district, during my term of membership, and it has been given without 
comment upon the course then pursued. This is not the time or place for 
extended remarks upon it; your and my intention now is to present the public 
with the naked truth, and to prevent its perversion in every important par- 
ticular. I trust as far as the City of Philadelphia is concerned this object is 


effected, for so far from there being a Catholic conspiracy here to exclude 
the Bible from the Public Schools, the first motion was made by persons dis- 
connected with Catholics, and without their co-operation. 

In dismissing the matter, I will add, that as almost every communication 
upon this much vexed question, has begun or concluded with an avowal of 
the purity of the writer's Protestant descent, or his incontrovertible right to be 
claimed as a Native American born and bred, may I be permitted to say, 
instead, in the language of Mr. Burke, that in America every man has the 
right, particularly in the discussion of doctrinal subjects, to the benefit of 
"The Protestantism of the Protestant Religion, and to the dissidence of 
dissent." I am, very truly, yours, 

George W. Biddle. 

Dr. Frederick Eckard. 

Administration of Bishop Kenrick (Continued). — The 
Southwark Riots. — Attack on St. Philip's Church. 
— City Under Martial Law. — Public Sentiment Con- 
demns Nativism. — Damage Suits Against the City 
and County for Burning of St. Augustine's and St. 
Michael's. — Bishop Kenrick's Visitation.— His Visit 
to Rome. — Report of Diocese. — Jubilee of Pius IX. — 
Diocesan Synod. — Visitation Nuns. — Sisters of the 
Good Shepherd. 

|HE week following the burning of St. Michael's 
and St. Augustine's Church properties found 
peace restored. Father Donoghoe at St. 
Michael's at once had a temporary structure 
erected on the ruins of the rectory; and within 
six days from the destruction of the church, ser- 
vices were resumed. Philadelphians were filled with shame at the 
riotous proceedings and bloodshed that had so darkened the fair 
name of their city. The dignified conduct of Bishop Kenrick and 
his clergy was a protest, and the closed church doors and the pacings 
of the sentries to and fro in front of the Catholic Church property, 
were a pointed rebuke that was keenly felt by the better-minded 
people. The papers of the city, except those controlled by Native 
American principles, united in expressing shame at the disgrace; 
while the papers throughout the country, in lengthy editorials and 
detailed accounts of the riots, pointed the finger of scorn at the City 
of Brotherly Love. 

The leaders of the Native American party, however, felt no 
remorse. They gloated over their victory, and the columns of their 
three organs, The Native Eagle, The Native American, and The 


Daily Sun, continued the tirade against "foreigners," and inflamed 
the minds of their followers by glowing accounts of the heroism and 
prowess of those who had so steadfastly defended the Bible against 
the "Irish Papists." The members of the party who had been 
arrested, and those who had been wounded and killed in the riots, 
were glorified as "martyrs," and George Shiffler, who had been 
killed in the Kensington riots, while, as a matter of fact, a very 
ordinary person of eighteen, and one of the many idle youths who 
had given much trouble to the authorities in the past, was deified as 
a hero ! His picture, showing him holding an American flag in one 
hand and the Bible in the other, was inscribed on banners. Public 
orators, and even ministers of the Gospel, held him up as a model 
for other youths. The ordinary and impulsive act of the boy who, 
when a chance shot had broken the flag-staff, reached forward to 
pick up the fallen emblem, and in so doing was killed instantly by 
a stray bullet, was metamorphosed in declamation as a heroic de- 
fence of the flag of our country! The effect of such inflammatory 
discourses and publications was, as may be imagined, to strengthen 
the Native American party among the ignorant of the populace. 

Native Americanism was a political party whose leaders 
preyed on the ignorance and prejudice of the public for the further- 
ance of their designs. Lewis C. Levin was a candidate for United 
States Congress, and to him more than to any other man can be 
ascribed the fomenting of the anti-religious spirit for his political pur- 
poses. It is interesting to note that Levin's family afterward became 
Roman Catholics. His daughter married Senor Carlos DeBurros, 
Secretary of the Brazilian Legation, and was received into the 
Church by Father Merrick, S. J.; and his wife, Mrs. Levin, was 
buried some years ago from St. Patrick's Church, one of the edifices 
that in 1844 had been imperilled through her husband's political 

Part of the political propaganda was a monster demonstration 
of Native Americanism to take the form of a parade and picnic on 
4 July, 1 844. All the lodges of the party assembled in procession, 
each of them having as a part of the display a float depicting in 
allegory the principles of Native Americanism. About 4500 men 


and boys were in line. Figures of Shiffler and other "martyrs" 
were dramatically displayed, while a banner showing in allegory 
the tenets of the Church of Rome, depicted that Church in the 
guise of a large serpent twined around the United States flag, at 
which it furiously hissed. The place of honor was given to the flag 
torn during the Kensington riots. The parade marched out Chest- 
nut Street, and proceeded to Fairmount Park, where impassioned 
speeches were made by professional orators. As was to be expected, 
the parade and demonstration excited bad feelings on both sides, 
and the unrest fomented by a newspaper war that continued inces- 
santly from the time of the burning of the churches, threatened a 
renewal of the riots of May. On Friday morning, 5 July, a party 
of Native Americans who had encamped in Fisher's Woods for 
the night, overcome by the celebration of the day of Independence, 
was attacked by a band of rowdies, about thirty in number, armed 
with bludgeons. Several of the encamped army were beaten, the 
staging was pulled down, and the camp demolished. The papers 
on Saturday (on Friday, 5 July, no paper was published) gave an 
account of this attack, but made no charges as to who were the 
perpetrators. However, the gossip of the city on Friday and Satur- 
day exaggerated the comparatively small, though outrageous, at- 
tack into a murderous onslaught by the Irish. Fuel was added 
to the popular excitement in the southern part of Philadelphia and 
the district of Southwark by the discovery that on Friday a number 
of muskets had been taken into the Church of St. Philip de Neri, 
at Third and Queen Streets. 

William H. Dunn, a brother of the pastor of St. Philip's, had 
organized a Company of Volunteers for the defence of that church, 
after the riots in May, and by permission of the Governor this Com- 
pany had been furnished with twenty-five stand of arms from the 
State Arsenal. As some of these were not perfect, Mr. Dunn had, 
at the request of the Superintendent of the Arsenal, sent them to 
be repaired, and their return to the church basement on Friday, 5 
July, was noted by several persons, and the rumor spread through- 
out Southwark that a concerted move of retaliation was to be made 
by the Catholics. Mr. Dunn and his company of 150 men had 


guarded the church on the night of 4 July, fearing an attack, and 
had rallied again on Friday for the same purpose. Thousands of 
people gathered about the church, with whom magistrates and con- 
stables were unable to cope. The Sheriff of the County, Morton 
McMichael, Esq., having arrived on the scene, with Aldermen 
Hortz and Palmer, searched the church, and brought out the mus- 
kets and bayonets. These were given to a volunteer posse, who 
stationed themselves in front of the church, after the guns had been 
tried publicly with the ramrods, and proved to be unloaded. The 
Sheriff ordered the removal of the arms to the Commissioners' Hall 
and addressed the crowd, and informed them that a number of 
citizens would protect the church and city, and prevent the taking 
of arms into the church, and begged the crowd to disperse and 
retire to their homes. They remained, however, until eleven o'clock 
at night, and then Mr. Wright Ardis, one of the Kensington 
"martyrs," addressed the crowd, and with twenty men and the 
Sheriff and Aldermen entered the church. At midnight the City 
Guards under Capt. Hill, came on the ground, and took possession 
of the church building. More arms were found in the church, and 
carried to the Commissioners' Hall, and several of the congregation 
were taken before Alderman McKinley, and put under bonds to 
keep the peace. 

On Saturday morning the military still held possession of the 
church, and during the day large crowds again gathered. Early in 
the afternoon, General Cadwalader rode into the street on horse- 
back, and explained that the muskets had been furnished by the 
authority of the Governor, and ordered the crowd to disperse, but 
the excitement increased every hour. As night approached the 
crowd swelled until the space in front of the church and the neigh- 
boring streets were filled with a dense mass of people. Extra con- 
stables were sworn in by the local authorities, and large bodies of 
"Peace Police" organized. At seven o'clock in the evening, the 
Sheriff with a posse of 1 50, succeeded in clearing the street in front 
of the church from Second to Third Streets, and later the military 
force was increased by the presence of the Mechanic Rifles, the 
Washington Blues, the Cadwalader Grays, the Markle Rifles, the 


City Guards, and the Junior Artillerists, who, with three field-pieces 
stationed at Second and Third and Queen Streets, commanded the 
approaches leading to the church. General Cadwalader, with a 
platoon of mounted men, charged the crowd, driving them from one 
street to another. Stones were thrown at the soldiers, and the ad- 
dress of General Cadwalader, begging the crowd to disperse, was 
received with groans and hisses, and the mob dared him to fire. 
As the General gave orders to the artillery men to take aim, and 
prepare to fire, the Hon. Charles Naylor stepped before the gun, 
and told the General that he had no right to fire. Naylor was 
instantly arrested and put under guard in the basement of the 
church. The mob cried out for his release, but the determination! of 
the military prevailed, and the crowd gradually dispersed. On 
Sunday morning the military was drawn off, with the exception of 
the Markle Rifles, the Mechanic Rifles, and the Hibernia Greens, 
but by eleven o'clock an armed mob assembled around the church 
and demanded the release of Mr. Naylor. Cannon were stationed 
in the rear of the church, and, loaded with large pieces of iron, were 
discharged into the walls. A four-pound cannon, loaded to the 
muzzle, was dragged to the door of the church, and another demand 
made for the release of Naylor. Just as the door was broken in, 
and the mob prepared to fire the cannon into the church, Alderman 
Hortz frustrated the plan by pouring water into the priming. Naylor 
was then conditionally liberated, and led off in triumph amid the 
cheering of the mob. The cannonading continued in the rear of 
the church, while Thomas Grover and Lewis Levin made addresses, 
and succeeded in pacifying the mob, who promised to disperse if the 
Hibernia Greens were taken out of the building. This was agreed 
to, and the two Companies of Markle Rifles and Mechanic Rifles 
escorted the Hibernia Greens out of the church. They were in- 
stantly set upon by the mob, who, by their superior numbers, over- 
came the military, and compelled them to flee for their lives. In 
spite of the efforts of the leaders, the mob succeeded in breaking in 
the church windows and doors, and crowded the building, while 
Mr. Levin made an address to them from the altar-table. Several 
attempts were made to fire the building, but each time the flames 


were extinguished. The crowd finally tired itself out destroying 
the furniture of the church, and dispersed, while a committee of 
twenty guarded the doors. 

On Sunday night the mob returned armed with several cannon. 
The military was called again in great force, for so determined were 
the rioters that most drastic measures were now necessary. The 
military proceeded to take up positions and defend the church; 
platoons of soldiers were stretched along the neighboring streets; 
the guard of citizens were relieved from their duty within the church, 
and from a riot the affair had now reached civil war. Trusting 
too much to the forbearance of the military, the rioters refused to 
yield to the soldiers, and the conflict was on. It took place at Second 
and Queen Streets. Capt. Hill was thrown down, and an attempt 
was made to stab him with his own sword, when the Lieutenant of 
the Guards gave the word to fire. Several were killed and a large 
number wounded by the volley of the military. Two more volleys 
were fired, one up and one down Second Street. The mob broke 
into Commissioners' Hall seeking for arms, and an attempt by the 
leaders to organize the crowd at a distance succeeded, and under 
cover of darkness cannon loaded on drays were brought and trained 
on Queen Street. These guns, loaded with nails, pieces of chain, 
stone-cutters' chisels, knives, files, spikes, and broken bottles, were 
fired again and again at the military, and after each discharge hauled 
back into the darkness by ropes, to be loaded again and primed 
with a slow-burning fuse, and, when the opportunity arrived, to be 
put hastily in place and discharged with deadly effect at the soldiers. 
The German Batallion with two field-pieces, Companies of the 
Washington Cavalry, and the First City Troop, commanded by 
General Roumfort, were summoned to the scene of action. Furious 
cannonading on both sides continued during the night, and the 
reports of the guns shook the houses in the vicinity. Rifle balls 
whistled from the alleys, the heavy guns of the mob were wheeled 
about in perfect silence, and, drilled and officered by men who had 
served in the Navy, their deadly work was successful. Three of 
the cannon were fired at once — one on Queen Street wharf, one on 
Queen Street between Sixth and Seventh, and the third on Third 


Street, four squares south of Queen. Slow matches were applied 
so that all three would go off simultaneously, and they were no 
sooner fired than they were hurriedly dragged off into the hiding- 
places, unheard and unseen, by long drag-ropes that had been 
attached to them, and before the military could return the fire with 
any effect. The attacks made by the cavalry were usually unsuc- 
cessful, for no sooner was the tramp of the horses heard than ropes 
were strung across the street and tripped the horses, in most instances 
throwing the riders, while the mob pelted them with stones, and 
threw missiles from their places of vantage. Major General Pater- 
son sent a messenger to the President of the United States at Wash- 
ington, with a request for an order for the U. S. troops at Carlisle, 
Fort Mifflin, and Fort McHenry, to be sent at the earliest moment. 
He also sent a messenger to Harrisburg, asking the Governor to 
order the soldiers from Lancaster and Harrisburg, and other parts 
of the State, to proceed to Philadelphia forthwith. Before day- 
light, however, the military seized and carried off three of the 
cannon which had been used by the mob. No violence took place 
after daylight on Monday morning, and all was comparatively quiet 
and under the control of the military. 

During the afternoon of Monday, 8 July, a committee from 
the Commissioners of the District of Southwark waited upon Major 
General Paterson, and requested him to withdraw the soldiers at 
four o'clock, pledging themselves to preserve peace in the district. 
They also waited on the Sheriff with the same object, and after 
consultation with the Judges of the Courts, the Sheriff and Major 
General decided to withdraw the troops. Governor Porter arrived 
in the afternoon and issued a proclamation exhorting the citizens to 
co-operate with the military in restoring peace. He remained on 
the scene, and before the end of the week he had concentrated not 
fewer than 5000 troops in Philadelphia. There were no further 
scenes of violence, but it was near the end of the month before all 
the forces were withdrawn. Altogether during the trouble there 
were about fourteen killed and about fifty wounded. The County 
Commissioners on Monday night offered a reward of $500 for the 
future apprehension of any person engaged with deadly weapons 
against the civil authorities, and a reward of $100 for the conviction 


of every person taking part in such riots. During the week follow- 
ing wholesale arrests were made, amongst these Lewis C. Levin, 
on a charge of inciting to riot and treason, and he was held in $5000 
bail. Lewis Kramer, editor of The Native American, was held in 
$500 bail to keep the peace. John G. Watmough was charged 
with using exciting language, and held under bail of $1000 to keep 
the peace. 

The riots of May and July in Philadelphia were most hurtful 
to Nativism throughout the country. Lewis C. Levin, who was the 
local leader, and a South Carolinian by birth, a man of stout build, 
and who for three terms had sat as Representative of the First Penn- 
sylvania District in Congress, where he made many anti-Catholic 
speeches, was not able, even by his florid eloquence, to counteract 
the effect of his condemnation and that of his party. In the par- 
lance of the day all the Nativists came to be generally known as 
"church-burners/ ' and for years afterwards the finger of scorn was 
pointed at them. 

Legal proceedings were entered into by the ecclesiastical 
authorities, to secure compensation for the destruction of the Church 
property. In November a judgment in favor of St. Michael's to 
the amount $6,468.98 was given for the destruction of the convent; 
and in December, 1 847, $27,000 for the destruction of the church. 

The total compensation claimed by St. Augustine's was $83,- 
627.75, $44,000 of which was declared to be the value of the 
building, and $5,000 that of the church furniture. The rest was 
made up of the value of the personal effects of the priests, and ser- 
vants, and the house furniture. On 6 January, 1846, the County 
Commissioners applied to the Supreme Court for a Writ Quo War- 
ranto against Fathers Nicholas O'Donnell, John Hughes, and James 
O'Donnell, to show authority for using the corporate name of 
"Brothers of the Order of Hermits of St. Augustine." By such 
and other legal methods and appeals, the claim against the City 
was delayed until 29 November, 1847, when the damages of 
$47,433.87 were granted. It is related that the sum awarded by 
the jury was arrived at by aggregating the sum each juror was 
willing to allow, and dividing the total by twelve. 


Bishop Kenrick began his visitation on 25 August, 1 844, hav- 
ing been delayed by the riots. He was accompanied by the Rev. 
Dr. O'Connor, and, commencing at Port Elizabeth, he made a 
round of visitations, conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation. The 
tour covered about half the circuit of the Diocese, and the towns of 
Lancaster, York, Paradise, Gettysburg, Littlestown, McSherrys- 
town, and Conewago. On his way to Philadelphia, he visited the 
new Manual College that had been established at Villa Nova, Pa., 
by the Augustinian Fathers in 1842, under the direction of the 
Rev. P. E. Moriarty. 1 

In April, 1845, Bishop Kenrick made his ad limina visit to 
Rome, in which he reported the condition of his Diocese, which 
then had a total population exceeding a million, the Catholics num- 
bering about 100,000. The Diocese contained sixty churches, ten 
of them in Philadelphia, ministered to by fifty priests, with twenty- 
six students in the Seminary. 

The Oxford movement in England, culminating in the conver- 
sion of John Henry Newman and his companions, had great effect 
on intelligent non-Catholics in America, and brought into the Church 
a large number of converts, among whom in Philadelphia were an 
Episcopalian clergyman, the Rev. Henry Major, and Mr. George 
Strobel, who had been U. S. Consul at Bordeaux. The latter pro- 
ceeded to Rome to study for the priesthood, and after his ordination 
was pastor of St. Mary's Church. 

On 12 February, 1847, Bishop Kenrick published a pastoral 
letter, announcing the General Jubilee proclaimed by His Holiness, 
Pope Pius IX, on his elevation to the Chair of Peter. On Sunday, 
3 October, of that year, Bishop Kenrick convened the Third Synod 
of the Diocese of Philadelphia, in the pro-Cathedral of St. John 
the Evangelist. About forty priests attended, and the decrees of 
the Fifth and Sixth Councils of Baltimore were adopted and for- 
mally promulgated. New parish boundaries were given to St. 
Augustine's and St. Joseph's Churches. The Fathers of Religious 
Orders were allowed to administer the Sacraments to those holding 

1 Villa Nova was bought 5 January, 1842, from Mrs. John Rudolph, daughter 
of Thomas Lloyd. The farm contained 200 acres. 


pews in their churches, while the Redemptorist Fathers were given 
charge of all the German population north of Girard Avenue. The 
clergy of Holy Trinity were given the care of the Germans in 
Philadelphia proper and in the southern districts. In February of 
the following year, 1 848, a convent was opened at the S. W. corner 
of Eleventh and Spruce Streets by the Visitation Nuns, and soon 
numbered forty-three pupils in its Academy. This convent and 
school soon afterwards was moved to the Stiles Mansion, south-west 
corner of Broad and Poplar Streets, the present site of the Phila- 
delphia Opera House. In 1 852 the Visitation Nuns removed from 
the Diocese. In 1849 a Community of the Sisters of the Good 
Shepherd, consisting of Mother Mary Des Anges, and Sisters St. 
Boniface, Patrick, and Augustine, arrived in Philadelphia from 
Angers, and began their work for the reformation of fallen women 
in St. Anne's Asylum for Widows, Front and George Streets, where 
they remained during the building of their convent at Twenty-second 
and Walnut Streets, which was completed in 1 85 1 . 

Administration of Bishop Kenrick (Continued). — St. 
Philip's Parish School. — St. Michael's Rebuilt. — 
St. Peter's, St. Anne's, St. Joachim's, the Cathe- 
dral, the Assumption B. V. M., the Assumption 
B. V. M. (Manayunk), St. Vincent de Paul's (Ger- 
mantown), St. Dominic's (Holmesburg), St. James's, 
St. Malachy's Founded. — Bishop Kenrick Made 
Archbishop of Baltimore, Primate of the United 

HE presence of the large number of troops assem- 
bled by the Governor insured the peace of Catho- 
lics to worship God in their churches again. On 
Tuesday, 9 July, St. Philip's was handed over 
by the civil authorities to its proper guardians, 
and on the following Sunday Mass was cele- 
brated as usual ; but the dreadful ordeal through which Father Dunn 
had passed, made Bishop Kenrick anxious that he should be re- 
lieved from his charge for a time to regain his health, and the Rev. 
Nicholas Cantwell was placed in charge of St. Philip's. 

Father Cantwell opened a Girls' Parish School in a building 
on Front Street, the first school in the Diocese taught by the Sisters 
of St. Joseph, who in 1847 had come to Philadelphia to take charge 
of St. John's Orphan Asylum, at Thirteenth and Chestnut Streets. 
The teachers lived in St. Anne's Widows' Asylum with the Sisters 
of the Good Shepherd, who resided there until the opening of their 
convent at Twenty-second and Walnut Streets. The boys of the 
parish were taught in the basement of the church. 

At St. Michael's, services were held in a temporary chapel 
that had been erected on the ruins of the old church; but prepara- 
tions were made for the building of the new edifice, under the direc- 
tion of the Rev. William Loughran, who had been appointed pastor 


of St. Michael's after having been in charge of St. Stephen's for 
a few weeks, where he was succeeded by the Vincentian Fathers 
of the Seminary faculty. 

Father Donoghoe, broken down by the disasters of the parish, 
had resigned his charge early in 1845, and gone to Dubuque, Iowa, 
where he became Vicar General, and whither his community of 
the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary had gone in 1 844. 
This sisterhood, which had taught school at Second and Thompson 
Streets, on its removal to the West became a powerful educational 
factor, the Sisters now having in their charge the leading Catholic 
academies and schools of Iowa and other parts of the Middle West. 

On 3 August, 1 846, the corner-stone of the new St. Michael's 
Church was laid by Bishop Kenrick. The Rev. Edward J. Sourin 
preached the sermon. The new building too was fated for disaster, 
for in October of that year the eastern wall was blown down during 
a heavy wind storm. Again the work was begun, and the building 
was finally completed, and dedicated on the 7 February, 1847, 
when Bishop Kenrick officiated and preached the sermon. 

The attitude of Bishop Kenrick during the disasters of 1844 
won for him the appreciation of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. 
In this "outpouring of frenzy which swept over this city in 1844," 
says the Right Rev. Michael O'Connor, 

which laid in ashes some of our churches and institutions, and threatened all 
the rest, as well as the lives of the clergy and people, many blamed Bishop 
Kenrick for not opposing to it a bolder front. He considered it more con- 
formable to the spirit of the Gospel to bend to it and suffer. He thought it 
best even to retire for a few days from what was evidently a momentary out- 
burst, lest the tiger, tasting blood, might become more infuriated. Events 
justified his course. The torrent that, if resisted, would have accumulated its 
waters, and eventually swept on with greater fury, rolled by and spent itself. 
His order to suspend divine service "in the churches that yet remained," was 
the severest rebuke the fanatics could have received. The tramp of the 
sentinel pacing before the House of God, deserted on the Lord's Day, with 
this order pasted on the walls, was a comment on the spirit that had then 
taken possession of the City of Brotherly Love, which roused the better- 
minded. Peace was restored on a more solid basis than ever before existed 
and Catholicity assumed a higher position. 


Whatever was the effect on Bishop Kenrick's spirit, which 
must have felt keenly the outrages against religion, he did not halt 
in his determined plan to make the Catholic Church firm in its 
position in Philadelphia. Nothing daunted by the anti-Catholic 
spirit still in the air through Native Americanism, he set about put- 
ting in operation the formation of new parishes in accordance with 
the plan that he had been pursuing during the years of his admin- 

St. Bruges On 27 October, 1844, the Augustinian Fathers 
tine's anfc were able to open for the worship of God a chapel 

St» Peter's built near the ruins of their church, and named Our 
Lady of Consolation. The congregation of St. 
Peter's, who during the trying days had steadily persevered in 
building their parish church, had the joy of seeing it dedicated 
29 December, by Bishop Kenrick. 

St. Bnne's Economic conditions had caused a settlement of 

p or t Irish Catholics in the district of Port Richmond. 

"Ricbmonfc The building of the Port Richmond Branch of the 

Reading Railroad led to the shifting of the coal 
trade from the Schuylkill to the Delaware, with the consequent 
removal of a large part of the population of St. Patrick's, who took 
up their habitation in the neighborhood of their work. Possibly the 
anti-Catholic spirit of the Kensington district had something to do 
with the migration of a large number of stalwart Catholics, who 
formed the nucleus of St. Anne's parish. A large tract of ground, 
located between Lehigh Avenue and Tucker, Memphis, and Cedar 
Sts., was purchased from Geo. W. Edwards. The Protestants of 
the neighborhood worked with the Catholics in filling the swamp 
which occupied most of the tract. The boundaries of the parish ex- 
tended from Kensington to Frankford, and indefinitely westward. A 
rough stone Gothic structure was begun, and the corner-stone was 
laid 4 July, 1 845, by the Rev. Francis X. Gartland of St. John's. 
On 1 5 November, 1 846, the church was dedicated by Father Gart- 


land, the sermon being preached by Bishop Hughes of New York. 
The pastor of the new parish was the Rev. Hugh McLaughlin, who 
had proved his apostolic zeal by his work in extensive missions in 
the interior of the State, and who lived in St. Michael's Rectory 
until the pastoral residence west of the church was built. 

5t.5oacbfm% During the same year, 1845, St. Joachim's, Frank- 
Jfranhtorfc lord, was founded by the Rev. Dominic Forrestal, 

l 8 45 who had become acquainted with the needs of 

Catholics in that district while serving at St. Ste- 
phen's. The few but fervent Catholics had walked the long distance 
to St. Michael's, and in later years to St. Stephen's, in attending to 
their religious duties. Father Forrestal's efforts were seconded by 
William Keenan, John McCafferty, John Hanly, Timothy Britt, 
and Patrick Farren. A Sunday School was organized in the home 
of one of these in Paul Street, and the work of erecting a church 
was begun on the present site at Church and Franklin Streets, which 
had been secured by exchange for a lot previously purchased on 
Main Street. The corner-stone was laid on 28 September, 1845, 
by the Right Rev. Celestine de la Hailandiere, Bishop of Vin- 
cennes, Indiana, in the presence of Bishop Kenrick. The work 
went on slowly, and the church was unfinished when Father For- 
restal died in 1 847. The Rev. James O'Kane was appointed resi- 
dent pastor, and completed the church and had it dedicated the 
same year in which he took charge. 

Catbedral ot On the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, 29 June, 1 846, 
5S. !>eter Bishop Kenrick issued a pastoral letter, announcing 

an& Paul ms determination to build a Cathedral. 

Yielding to the repeated solicitations of many, we have determined to 
undertake the erection of a Cathedral on the ground lately purchased by us 
adjoining the Theological Seminary. The vicinity of the institution offers 
many inducements for the erection of the Church, both to afford to the 
Professors and Students the opportunity of practising the sacred ceremonies, 


and to give to the episcopal functions the becoming solemnity. The situation 
is otherwise highly suitable, being on the front of a large public square, and 
the ground is sufficiently spacious for the erection of a building which may 
be the chief church of the Diocese. The costliness of the undertaking, espe- 
cially as the ground is still unpaid for, made us, for a time, abandon all idea 
of engaging in it; but the anxiety manifested for several years by yourselves 
generally to see such a fabric erected, and the assurance of support given to 
us by several generous individuals, have overcome our own fears, and deter- 
mined us to lay the foundations of it in a short time, in the confidence that 
you will not suffer it to be said that we began to build and could not bring 
the work to completion. The zeal of individuals has often succeeded in 
raising churches from their own resources; and in death they have had no 
reason to regret that they had devoted to this purpose the wealth which others 
squandered away in indulgence or left to thankless heirs. But we look for 
no sacrifice of this magnitude. It seems the order of Divine Providence, in 
our age, that works of piety and charity should depend on the concurrence of 
a great multitude of contributors, who, in offering the tokens of their zeal 
for the advancement of religion, secure to themselves a share in its blessings. 
In this way even the poor are on an equality with the rich, since merit is esti- 
mated not by the amount of the offering, but by the cheerfulness of the giver. 
It will indeed, require a general effort throughout the entire diocese, continued 
systematically for several years, to accomplish the present undertaking. The 
Cathedral is the common church of the whole diocese, where the faithful, from 
all parts of it, may repair to the common father for advice, instruction, and 
consolation. From it are to go forth missionaries trained in the adjoining 
Seminary, to impart to the most distant portion of the flock the succors of 
religion. The most authoritative instructions are there to be received from 
the successor of the Apostles, who himself, being guided by the doctrines 
of the Universal Church, commits to like men the charge of teaching others. 
We need not multiply words, nor develop reasons, to urge you on to a good 
work, in which you are eager to embark. To you, then, we commend it, 
with the firm confidence, that by your generous co-operation this building will 
speedily arise, a splendid ornament to the Chief City of the State, and a 
lasting monument of your zeal and generosity. 

Before starting for his official visit to Rome in the year previous, 
Bishop Kenrick had acquainted his clergy of this project, which 
he had entertained for a long time. During his absence, Mr. Mark 
Frenaye, acting under episcopal instructions to secure an eligible 
site, purchased an incomplete building operation on Eighteenth 
Street between Race and Summer Streets, adjoining the Seminary 


property, also a large dwelling at the south-east corner of Eighteenth 
and Summer Streets, which the Bishop offered temporarily to the 
community of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, who there opened 
their first school in Philadelphia. 

The pastoral letter was read in all the churches in the Diocese 
at the late Mass, on the Sunday after its reception, together with a 
request sent by the Bishop and his Secretary, the Rev. E. J. Sourin, 
that the clergy meet at the pastoral residence on Tuesday, 7 July, 
to take steps toward the erection of the Cathedral. At this meeting, 
of which the Rev. George Strobel was the Secretary, the priests 
pledged themselves to make every effort to aid in the work. Each 
pastor accordingly invited the substantial members of his congrega- 
tion to assemble in the basement of St. John's Church on the fol- 
lowing Sunday. The books were opened for the receiving of sub- 
scriptions, and the Rev. Fathers Mailer and Tornatore were ap- 
pointed a Committee on Architecture ; Fathers Gartland and Strobel, 
and Mr. Frenaye a Committee on Contracts; and Fathers Carter, 
Devitt, and Rafferty, a Committee on Finance. Mr. Frenaye was 
appointed President; and Father Strobel, Secretary. Arrangements 
were made for a general meeting of the laity on Sunday evening, 
26 July, in St. John's basement. About eight hundred persons 
were present. Father Gartland presided, and Messrs. Frenaye, 
Chas. Repplier, and C. C. Collins, were appointed Secretaries. 
Several subscriptions were received. At a meeting of representatives 
from the various parishes, held 30 August, at which Mr. Repplier 
was Chairman, and Mr. Richard McCunney was Secretary, a 
system of parish collectors was organized, who were to report to a 
Central Committee, which should meet once a month. 

The first stone of the proposed Cathedral was laid by Bishop 
Kenrick on 6 September, 1846. About eight thousand people 
were present. An address was made by the Bishop, who explained 
the ceremonies, and appealed to the generosity of the faithful. The 
collection amounted to $4,100. No contracts were yet made for 
the new Cathedral, as it was the Bishop's intention to do the work 
as money was received. At a meeting on 10 January, 1847, the 
report of the Treasurer was heard, showing the amount received 


to be $6,565.21. The architect, Napoleon Lebrun, submitted a 
description of the proposed building, 130 ft. wide and 216 ft. long, 
worked out from a sketch made by Fathers Mailer and Tornatore. 
These plans, however, were changed considerably as the work 
progressed. On 23 June, 1847, Bishop Kenrick moved into the 
house at the corner of Eighteenth and Summer Streets, the present 
archiepiscopal residence, the Ladies of the Sacred Heart having 
moved to the property purchased for them at Torresdale. The 
subscriptions came in slowly, in spite of the most strenuous efforts 
of the Bishop, and the personal supervision of the work from his 
new residence. Only the foundation and the brick arches to sup- 
port the floor had been built, but an additional lot on Race Street, 
34 ft. wide by 144 ft. deep, was purchased for $3,400. As the 
years passed, Bishop Kenrick's courage did not flag, although the 
work was at a standstill for lack of funds for several months at a 

£b e While provision was being made by contributions 

Bssumptton ^ rom a " ^ e Pushes toward the building of the 
jg.ty.Ab. 1348 Cathedral, the local needs of religion had to be 
considered by the erection of parish churches. To 
the already lengthening list of these was added, in 1 848, the Church 
of the Assumption, in the district of Spring Garden, to take in the 
northern part of St. John's parish. A lot on Spring Garden Street 
east of Twelfth Street was purchased, and the Rev. Charles I. H. 
Carter was appointed pastor. Father Carter was a native of 
Kentucky and became a convert from Episcopalianism at the age 
of nineteen. He entered the Seminary at Bardstown, and accom- 
pained Bishop Kenrick from that institution to Philadelphia, to con- 
tinue his studies, and was ordained in St. Mary's Church, of which 
he later became pastor, by Bishop Kenrick, 1 5 August, 1 832. The 
young priest's determined nature made him easily surmount the 
obstacles in the way of establishing a new parish in the very heart of 
that anti-Catholic district. The comparatively few Catholics aided 
him energetically, and the corner-stone of the new church was laid 
21 May, 1848, by Bishop Smith of Glasgow, Scotland. Bishop 


Kenrick preached the sermon. On 1 1 November, 1 849, the edifice, 
which was considered by far the handsomest in the city, was dedi- 
cated by the Very Rev. Francis X. Gartland, V. G. Bishop Rey- 
nolds of Charleston, S. C, preached the sermon. The parochial 
residence adjoining the church on the east was built almost immedi- 
ately, and the zealous pastor and flock completed their parish build- 
ings by the erection of a school on a lot at the south-east corner of 
Twelfth and Wistar Streets, which was taught by the sisters of the 
Holy Child Jesus, who were later provided with a convent west of 
the church. Father Carter's private fortune of about $75,000 
enabled him to prosecute the erection of his parish buildings, and 
also to give generously to the Diocesan Seminary and the American 
College in Rome. 

assumption ^he German-speaking Catholics in Manyunk had 
JB. W. flb. t increased to such numbers that in 1849 the work 

tf&anaEunft, of organizing a German parish in that district was 
1849 begun. Previous to this time the two score families 

of German-speaking Catholics, while they heard Mass at St. John 
the Baptist's were counted as members of Holy Trinity parish at 
Sixth and Spruce Streets. In 1843 an arrangement was made by 
which one of the Redemptorists at St. Peter's went once a month 
to hear confessions and to preach to them in the German language. 
When Bishop Kenrick arranged for the formation of a church for 
the German-speaking Catholics, the necessary funds were secured, 
and ground on Oak Street was purchased in the spring of 1849. 
The church was erected at once, opened for service 6 January, 1 850, 
and dedicated by Bishop Kenrick on 21 January, 1850. The first 
pastor was the Rev. S. R. Etthoffer, who after one year was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. A. Shippert, D. D. 

St. Dincent Having provided for the Catholics of Frankford, 
fce {Paul's, Bishop Kenrick in 1849 arranged to organize a 

©ermantown, parish and build a church in the old settlement of 
1849 German town, which, while containing only a few 

Catholics, gave promise of becoming a beautiful and thickly-pop- 


ulated suburb. Accordingly a large piece of ground was purchased 
on the north side of Price Street, east of Main Street, and placed 
under the care of the priests of the Congregation of the Mission, who 
were in charge of the Theological Seminary. The parish was 
named after the Founder of their Society, St. Vincent de Paul. 
The corner-stone was blessed on 2 September, 1 849. Bishop Ken- 
rick officiated and preached. The new church was planned for the 
future possibilities of the parish rather than for the dozen or so 
Catholic families who dwelt there and who previously had heard 
Mass in Nicetown. Only the nave was therefore built, and it Was 
privately blessed by Vicar General Sourin, 13 July, 1851, while 
High Mass was celebrated by the first pastor, the Rev. M. Domenec, 
afterwards Bishop of Pittsburg. The Very Rev. E. J. Sourin, 
V. G., preached the sermon. 

St.Dominic'6 Bishop Kenrick's executive mind grasped the fact 
•fcolmesburg, *^ at tne ^^ was not ^ ar distant when the beautiful 
XS^g suburbs of Philadelphia, even at a distance from 

the city proper, would be desirable places of resi- 
dence, and become thickly populated. The creation of a Catholic 
parish would aid materially to this end, and accordingly, in 1849, 
arrangements were made for the building of a church in Holmesburg. 
The parish was put in charge of the Rev. Charles Dominic Berrill, 
O. P., who placed it under the protection of the founder of his 
Order, St. Dominic. A very modest building was planned, but 
sufficient for the needs of the few Catholics then residing in the smalt 
town. The corner-stone was blessed 9 September, 1849, by the 
Very Rev. Father Gartland, V. G., and before long the church 
was ready for use and dedicated. 

St. James's The P art °^ tne c ^y now known as West Phila- 
Gburcb delphia, fifty years ago was not the beautiful resi- 

!350 dential section it is to-day. It was made up of 

scattered hamlets, in each of which, of course, was 
a number of Catholics, who were obliged at great inconvenience to 
cross the river and attend services at St. Patrick's, their parish church. 


The activity in church building extended in 1850 to the west side 
of the river, and a parish was organized in Hamilton Village, Block- 
ley Township, to include all that district. The Rev. J. V. O'Keefe, 
assistant at St. Philip's, was appointed pastor of the new parish, and 
celebrated Mass and founded a Sunday School in the house of Wil- 
liam McBride, who resided where now 3631 Locust Street stands. 
The Rev. William O'Hara, D. D., afterwards Bishop of Scranton, 
then assistant at St. Patrick's, was deputed by Bishop Kenrick to 
purchase a church property, and with Mr. McBride and Mr. Jerome 
Eagle he secured a lot 120 feet on Chestnut Street and 50 feet 
extending along Mary (now Thirty-eighth) Street to St. George 
(now Sansom) Street. On 1 4 July, 1 850, the first meeting of the 
congregation was held, and Father O'Keefe, accompanied by Mr. 
McBride, took a census of the scattered Catholics in his very large 
territory, and found forty adults, married and single, who pledged 
themselves to aid him energetically in the erection of a church. 
Work was begun at once on the digging of the cellar and the laying 
of the foundations, so that the corner-stone was blessed on Sunday 
afternoon 4 August, 1 850, by Bishop Kenrick, who also delivered 
the discourse. Father O'Keefe was transferred to St. Patrick's, 
Pottsville, a few months later, and was succeeded by Father Mullen, 
who completed the erection of the church. 

St./fcalacbB's ^ e ' ast P a " sn to ^ e organized by Bishop Kenrick 
Cburcb before his translation to Baltimore, was that of St. 

I 85l Malachy's. The Rev. John Kelly was appointed 

pastor, and as the district was already thickly popu- 
lated, plans were made for the purchase of a tract of ground extend- 
ing from Eleventh to Warnock Street, north of Master Street. The 
ground was secured, and the corner-stone of St. Malachy's Church 
was blessed 25 May, 1 85 1 , by Bishop Kenrick, who also preached 
the sermon. The work of building proceeded rapidly, and a spac- 
ious edifice was dedicated 1 9 September, 1 852, by the Very Rev. 
E. J. Sourin, V. G., who also sang the Mass and preached the 
sermon. The church was built most substantially, and made large 


enough to serve even for present needs. A contemporary newspaper 
report says : 

Everything connected with the church has been done with a view to 
the future. Its size and comparative cheapness reflect great credit on those 
engaged in its erection. Such is the economy displayed in its construction 
that one of the walls serve three purposes, namely, for the end wall of the 
church, for one of the walls of the parsonage, and for the wall of the school- 
house, so that two principal walls of the school-house are already built; and 
thus, owing to the judicious management, one of the largest Catholic school- 
houses in our city can be built at about one-half the cost usually incurred. 

Bishop Kenrick received official notification, dated 1 9 August, 
1851, from Rome, of his transfer to the Archiepiscopal See of 
Baltimore. At the death of the Most Rev. Samuel Eccleston, the 
choice of Bishop Kenrick as his successor was made without any 
hesitation by Pius IX. Bishop Kenrick's notable work on Papal 
Supremacy had attracted general notice throughout the English- 
speaking world; his theological books were made text-books in 
colleges and seminaries, and the executive ability that he displayed 
during his twenty years as Bishop of Philadelphia pointed con- 
clusively to him as the logical successor to the See of Baltimore. To 
that dignity was added, by a Papal Brief, the additional honor of 
Apostolic Delegate and Primate of the United States. This prim- 
acy, which Baltimore had previously enjoyed on account of its claims 
as the first Catholic See of the United States, was confirmed on 25 
July, 1858, by Pius IX designating the Archbishops of Baltimore 
holders of the perpetual Primacy among the American Hierarchy, 
with right of precedence. 

The departure of Bishop Kenrick from Philadelphia, which 
took place on 9 October, 1 85 1 , was marked by the notable grief of 
the Catholics of the City, who felt the loss to them, while they re- 
joiced in the added honor to one who had done so much for Cath- 
olicity in Philadelphia. Twenty years before, when Francis Pat- 
rick Kenrick was consecrated Bishop, there were but four churches, 
with thirty priests. Moreover, Catholicity was embroiled in dis- 
graceful conflicts of some of the body against the lawful head. 
Progress had thus been almost entirely impeded, and the energy of 


the authorities had to be devoted almost exclusively to the restoration 
of peace. The twenty years of Bishop Kenrick's rule had trans- 
formed all this, and disorder had given place to perfect discipline. 
The four churches had increased to one hundred and two. More 
than one hundred priests gave themselves, under his watchful eyes, 
to the energetic service of religion, while forty-six seminarians were 
prepared for the future work of the diocese, and in orphanages and 
hospitals holy women minstered to the poor and sick. Above all, 
Bishop Kenrick had conquered the hearts of Catholics and non- 
Catholics by the arms of gentleness and charity. The estimate of 
the community was expressed in a parting address of clergy and 
laity, part of which was as follows : 

More than twenty years have passed since it pleased God to commit to 
your paternal government this portion of the Church. It is not for us to say 
how faithfully the sublime trust has been fulfilled. The state of religion 
now, as compared with its condition when you first appeared in our city, is 
the best evidence that God has watched over us for good, and sent among 
us a pastor after His own heart. The institutions which have been since 
founded to promote the cause of education, to relieve distress, to uphold 
religion; the churches which have sprung up in every part of the diocese, 
the congregations which have been formed and fostered by your care, the 
learned works with which, in the midst of so many exterior occupations, you 
have enriched our literature — these are at once the proofs of your apostleship 
among us, the memorials of God's goodness to us, and the titles to a love and 
a veneration, on the part of this community, which time cannot easily efface. 

Bishop Kenrick felt deeply this testimonial of esteem. His 
heart was in the incompleted works of the Cathedral and Seminary, 
and in his reply to the address he commended these two works 
especially to the Catholics of Philadelphia. 

My departure from among them was not without pain to my feelings; 
but it has been my study to follow the guidance of superior authority; and I 
felt that when I was called upon to ascend to a higher place, I was virtually 
admonished to aspire to the perfection which becomes it. Promotion in the 
Church implies an increase of responsibility, with a stricter obligation to present 
to others the example of sublime virtue. Although my pastoral relations to 
my former flock have ceased, I shall always cherish respectful esteem for 
the devoted clergy, and affectionate attachment for the pious laity of the 
Philadelphia Diocese. 


Administration of Bishop Neumann. — Early Life of 
Bishop Neumann. — Consecrated Bishop of Phila- 
delphia. — Apostolic Labors. — Plenary Council of 
Baltimore. — Diocesan Clergy Placed in Charge of 
Seminary. — Diocesan Synod. — Forty Hours' Devo- 
tion Introduced in Diocese. — Bishop Neumann's 
Visit to Rome. — Eighth Provincial Council of Bal- 
timore. — Consecration of Bishop Wood, Co-adju- 
tor Bishop of Philadelphia. — Bishop Wood in 
Charge of Cathedral Building. — Diocesan Synod. — 
Erection of Cathedral Chapel. — Preparatory Semi- 
nary at Glen Riddle. — Founding of St. Mary Mag- 
dalen de Pazzi's Parish, Our Mother of Sorrows', 
St. Teresa's, St. Alphonsus's, Our Mother of Con- 
solation. — Death of Bishop Neumann. 

HE Venerable John Nepomucene Neumann, 
Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Philadelphia, 
was the oldest son of Philip Neumann, of Obers- 
burg, Bavaria. He was born on Good Friday, 
20 March, 181 1, in Srachatic, a town of Bohe- 
mia, where his father conducted a large stocking- 
weaving factory. He was baptized on the day of his birth in the 
Church of St. James the Great, and his godfather, John Mack, 
Mayor of the town, gave him the name of the Patron of Bohemia, 
John Nepomucene. As a child he accompanied his mother to early 
Mass during the week, and her good example in frequently ap- 
proaching the Sacraments, the recitation of the Rosary, and the other 
devotions with which she sanctified her home, naturally impressed 
the family with her religious spirit. Young Neumann began school 

Fourth Bishop of Philadelphia. 


in his seventh year, and having inherited from his father a love for 
learning, his school-days are a record of successes. At the age of 
twelve he went to Budweiss, to continue his studies under the Fathers 
of the Pious Schools. His later studies were pursued under the 
priests of the Cistercian Order, and at the age of twenty he decided 
to prepare himself for the priesthood, and was admitted to the Theo- 
logical Seminary in Budweiss on All Saints' Day, 1 83 1 . His earn- 
estness and industry secured for him the highest praise from his 
professors. On 21 July, 1832, he received Minor Orders, and at 
this time made a resolution of devoting himself to the American Mis- 
sions, the accounts of which he read in the Journals of the Leo- 
poldine Society. With this intention he matriculated in the Univer- 
sity of Prague, that he might prepare himself in French and English 
for future labors in America. After finishing his University course 
with distinction, he returned to Budweiss in August, 1 834. 

The extreme old age of the Bishop of Budweiss delayed Neu- 
mann's ordination, and, having received funds for travelling expenses 
by collections in the parishes of Budweiss, and a contribution from 
the Society of Foreign Missions, he applied to Bishop Kenrick for 
admission into the Diocese of Philadelphia, and afterwards to 
Bishop Brute of Vincennes, and finally to Bishop Dubois of New 
York. He sailed from Havre, France, 20 April, 1 836, and, arriv- 
ing in New York, was received with great courtesy by Bishop 
Dubois, who needed the services of German priests, and who in- 
trusted him, while awaiting ordination, with the work of preparing 
German children in that city for their First Communion. He re- 
ceived sub-deaconship on 19 June, 1836, deaconship on the 24th, 
and next day was ordained priest by Bishop Dubois, in St. Patrick's 
Cathedral. On the following day he celebrated his first Mass at 
the Church of St. Nicholas, and administered First Communion to 
the children whom he had prepared. He was immediately assigned 
to mission work in Erie County, and for four years devoted all his 
energy to the most arduous mission labors in the sparsely-settled dis- 
tricts in New York, covering a territory of over two hundred miles. 
In the spring of 1840 he was prostrated with fever, and on his re- 
covery resolved to enter the Congregation of the Most Holy Re- 


deemer, several priests of which Congregation he had met during 
his missionary work. Having made application to Father Prost, 
and having been released from the New York Diocese by Bishop 
Hughes, he entered the Redemptorist Order at Pittsburg in Octo- 
ber, 1840, and received the habit, 29 November, 1841. The Re- 
demptorist Order at that time had neither a Novitiate nor a Master 
of Novices, but the Fathers of the Order were scattered through 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and New York, administering to 
the spiritual necessity of the German Catholics. Father Neumann 
instantly took up this work, and his novitiate was made in the midst 
of exhausting labors, giving missions in Baltimore, and in Canton 
and Cincinnati, Ohio. His vows were made on 1 6 January, 1 842, 
under the direction of Father Alexander, of St. James' Church, Bal- 
timore. This was the first profession of a Redemptorist in America. 

In 1 844 Father Neumann was appointed Superior of the Re- 
demptorist Convent at Pittsburg, where he built the church, and for 
three years labored with most beneficial results. In February, 1 847, 
he was appointed Provincial of the Redemptorist Order in America. 
For four years he fulfilled the responsible duties of this most impor- 
tant office, and was then appointed by his superiors first pastor of 
St. Alphonsus's Church, Baltimore. Here he became known to 
Archbishop Kenrick, who selected him as confessor, as he already 
knew him from the favorable reports that he had received of Father 
Neumann's labors in Pittsburg, through Bishop O'Connor. 

In the list of names sent to Rome from which the Bishop of 
Philadelphia was to be selected, Father Neumann's name stood 
second. On one of his visits to go to confession, Archbishop Kenrick 
informed Father Neumann that he had been preconized as Bishop 
of Philadelphia. The humble Redemptorist was filled with alarm, 
and besought the Archbishop to use his influence to prevent his being 
appointed to so responsible an office. He also wrote to his Superiors 
in Europe, begging them to save him from the position. Coming 
into his room in the dusk of the evening of 1 9 March, Father Neu- 
mann found on his desk an episcopal ring and pectoral cross, and 
having been told that the Archbishop had called to see him, knew 
that his entreaties had been in vain. He spent the whole night in 


prayer, and on the following day, 20 March, his forty-first birthday. 
Archbishop Kenrick brought to him the Papal Bulls, appointing 
him Bishop of Philadelphia, and with explicit commands for their 
acceptance. He was consecrated on Passion Sunday, 28 March, 
1852, by Archbishop Kenrick, assisted by the Right Rev. Bernard 
O'Reilly of Hartford, and the Rev. Francis L'Homme. On 30 
March Bishop Neumann took possession of his See in the quietest 
manner. He was met at the station by a delegation of priests, who 
knew his wish to avoid all display. One of his first acts in Philadel- 
phia was to visit Moyamensing Prison, where two brothers, named 
Skupinski, were condemned to death. They had refused priestly 
ministrations, but after several hours spent in the cell with them, 
Bishop Neumann by his gentleness converted their hard hearts, and 
prepared them for death. The first days in his new position he 
spent in visiting the Religious Houses of the city, and some of the 
churches, and in familiarizing himself with the vast field of work, 
from which he had in all humility shrunk, but which — perfect Re- 
ligious that he was — he had accepted in obedience to the Holy 

A saint was needed to succeed a saint in the See of Philadel- 
phia. Bishop Kenrick' s work had been interrupted before he had 
finished what he had planned, and on the new Bishop lay the 
gigantic task of completing this work. The Seminary was in debt 
for the sum of $5000, which in the early 'fifties was considered a 
very large amount; and the Cathedral was unfinished, as the work 
had met with many setbacks for lack of funds. But there was much 
consolation for the Bishop in finding the clergy united and ready to 
second his efforts, and the people devoted to their pastors, and one 
in furthering the work of Bishop and priests. 

Bishop Neumann at once set about his task vigorously. Rec- 
ords made in his notebook are evidences of his industry, and serve 
as a commentary on his systematic administering according to the 
rules and vows with which he had bound himself when he had 
entered the Redemptorist Order. While he would have wished to 
continue to wear his religious habit instead of the episcopal insignia, 
and to have in his household a Father and a Lay-Brother of the 


Redemptorist Order, so that he might continue his community life, 
with a common sense that must always characterize true sanctity he 
yielded to circumstances. His life was in accordance with the rule 
of his Order, and his observances did not interfere with or make 
him slight any duty of his position as Bishop. He preached every 
Sunday in one or more churches, when in the city, and the visitations 
that he made every year were really Missions, for besides confirm- 
ing, he preached, heard confessions, and remained several days in 
each parish. He had especially equipped himself for the duties of 
the confessional, as he knew all the Slavic dialects, and was master 
of twelve modern languages. On his visitation he found himself 
unable to hear confessions in Irish, and he immediately set himself 
to learning Gaelic, so that within a short time he was able to con- 
verse and hear confessions in this difficult tongue. His habit was 
to spend most of the night in prayer, and in his kindness he answered 
the night-bell himself, and ministered to the sick-calls that came in 
that time. The poor of the city flocked to his house, and several 
times a day he went down to them, and distributed whatever money 
he had. 

Bishop Neumann was formally installed in the See of Phila- 
delphia on Palm Sunday, after which he blessed the palms and 
celebrated Pontifical Mass at St. John's Cathedral. In the after- 
noon he administered confirmation at St. Patrick's Church, and in 
the evening delivered a discourse on devotion to St. Joseph, at St. 
Joseph's Church. During the following week he issued his first pas- 
toral, in which he announced that the Very Rev. Father Sourin had 
been appointed Vicar General, and stated that he relied "on the 
zeal and charity of the clergy for results in the completion of the 
important work of erecting the Cathedral, begun by his predecessor." 
Bishop Neumann's zeal for the spiritual welfare of his Diocese 
made him especially anxious for the establishment of parish schools 
for the instruction of the young. In this he continued the plans of 
Bishop Kenrick, whose tragic experiences in 1 844 had made evident 
the hazard to faith that lay in Catholic children attending the State 
schools. On 28 April, 1852, Bishop Neumann called a meeting 
of all the pastors to devise ways and means of establishing a school 


in each parish. A second meeting was held on 5 May, in which 
the educational question was considered, and the resolutions that 
had been framed by the Committee appointed at the previous meet- 
ing were read and approved. As a result of this meeting, consisting 
of all the pastors, with the Bishop as President, meetings were held 
every month at the Bishop's residence, and he was never absent 
unless away from the city on his episcopal visitation. In furtherance 
of the work of education, the Bishop introduced into the Diocese 
the Brothers of the Christian Schools, for the education of the boys, 
and the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Sisters 
of Notre Dame of Namur, for the education of the girls, and 
the Sisters of the Holy Cross from LeMans, to take charge of an 
Industrial School. As an adjunct to his works of charity, the Bishop 
himself founded in the Diocese the Third Order of St. Francis. He 
was especially desirous of providing an Infant Asylum, and a letter 
to his sister in Bohemia, Sister Mary Caroline, a Sister of Charity 
of St. Charles Borromeo, tells of a work which he was very anxious 
to undertake : "As soon as I can procure means, I intend to open an 
Infant Asylum, and I hope that shortly a hospital will be established 
for sick immigrants. As soon as things are ready I shall not fail 
to apply to you." 

In May, 1852, Bishop Neumann attended the First Plenary 
Council of Baltimore, which was convoked by Archbishop Kenrick 
on 9 May, in the Cathedral of Baltimore. There assembled in 
council all the Archbishops and Bishops of the United States and 
its territories, including the Archbishops of Baltimore, Oregon City, 
St. Louis, New Orleans, and New York, with their Suffragans, now 
twenty-four Bishops, with the Bishops of Monterey or the Two 
Californias, also the officials of the Council, the Theologians, the 
Abbot of LaTrappe, the Superiors of the Augustinians, Dominicans, 
Benedictines, Franciscans, Jesuits, Redemptorists, the Congregation 
of the Mission, and Sulpicians. Only forty years previously, the 
first Archbishop of Baltimore had sat in consultation with three 
Suffragans, the Bishops of Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown, 
then the Hierarchy of the United States. 


The decrees of the Council were approved by the Congrega- 
tion of the Propaganda 30 August, and its decision was ratified by 
Pope Pius IX, 26 September. The Holy Father also established 
nine new Sees, whose erection had been solicited by the Council, 
viz., Portland, Maine; Burlington, Vermont; Brooklyn, New 
York; Newark, New Jersey; Erie, Pennsylvania; Covington, 
Ky. ; Quincy, Illinois; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Natchitoches, 
Louisiana. San Francisco was elevated into an Archiepiscopal See. 

During the summer months Bishop Neumann made an official 
visitation of all the churches in and near the city, and in the mean- 
time the work of erecting the Cathedral was being advanced, and, 
following the intention of Bishop Kenrick, no work was done unless 
there was money on hand to pay for it. 

In this year, 1 852, the Fathers of the Congregation of the Mis- 
sions, after having been in charge of the Seminary for eleven years, 
were obliged, on account of the reduced number of the members of 
their Community, to retire from this important work, and 
Bishop Neumann placed the institution under the care of the dio- 
cesan priests, with the Rev. William O'Hara, D. D., as Rector 
and principal Professor. 

Bishop Neumann ordered a retreat of the clergy to begin 13 
April, 1853, to be followed on 20 April, by a Diocesan Synod, in 
which were promulgated the decrees of the Plenary Council. 

Having administered Confirmation in most of the city churches, 
Bishop Neumann during the summer months made his visitation to 
the distant parts of the Diocese, and the itinerary of this journey, 
published in The Catholic Herald, records him as preaching in Ger- 
man and English, dedicating new churches, and confirming. In spite 
of the difficulty of travel, Bishop Neumann made his visitation of 
all parts of the Diocese at least once every two years, and of the 
more accessible parts every year. The visit to each church was thor- 
ough, as he preached and heard confessions in the many languages 
with which he was familiar, and interested himself in the personal 
affairs of the members of each parish, reconciling to the Church many 
persons married outside the faith, whom he found in the remote dis- 
tricts. His notebook shows that he made himself familiar with the 


history of each parish, as the records of his visitations give not only 
the number confirmed by himself or received back into the Church, 
but also the number of persons confirmed by his predecessors, with 
the dates of Confirmation, and the name of the founder of the parish, 
also the dates of the cornerstone-blessing and the dedication. 

In the year 1853, the Devotion of the Forty Hours' Public 
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was introduced into the United 
States, and, in accordance with Archbishop Kenrick's desire, Bishop 
Neumann introduced the Devotion into Philadelphia, the first church 
in which it was held being St. Philip Neri's. He then arranged that 
during the year each Sunday would find this Devotion being held in 
some church in the Diocese, and his published order shows the Forty 
Hours' Devotion to be held in St. Malachy's Church, 1 January, 
1 854, and ends with St. John's Church, Honesdale, 3 1 December, 

In Easter Week, 1854, the Bishop published a pamphlet an- 
nouncing the Jubilee proclaimed by Pope Pius IX, and making 
a powerful appeal to the people to provide means for completing the 
new Cathedral. As in all his other public utterances, he dwelt on 
the necessity and importance of providing Catholic schools. A new 
stimulus was given to the Cathedral work by a mass-meeting held in 
the Chinese Museum, the evening of 6 March, when the report of 
the contributions already received was read, and preparations were 
made for an extra effort to secure funds that would complete the 
facade and side-walls. 

Having made his visitation during the summer months, Bishop 
Neumann issued a pastoral letter announcing that he had been in- 
vited by the Holy Father to assemble with the other Bishops in 
Rome on the occasion of the definition of the Dogma of the Immacu- 
late Conception. The pastoral is a beautiful declaration, full of 
unction and devotion to the Mother of God. On 1 9 October, 1 854, 
the Bishop left the City for New York, whence, on 21 October, 
he sailed for Rome. After the ceremony in Rome, Bishop Neu- 
mann went to visit his venerable father in his native town, which he 
had left just nineteen years before to go to the missions of North 
America. He returned to Philadelphia in March, 1855, and after 


issuing a pastoral to his flock on the 1 st of May, 1855, promulgating 
the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, he 
attended the Eighth Provincial Council of Baltimore. In the Coun- 
cil Bishop Neumann showed that, although the erection of the See 
of Newark had cut off New Jersey from the Diocese of Philadel- 
phia, the remaining large number of Catholics and churches required 
a further division of the Diocese, and he proposed the erection of 
Sees at Pottsville, Pa., and Wilmington, Delaware. 

The Fifth Synod of the Diocese was held on the 3, 4, and 5 
October, 1 855, in which, after promulgating the decrees of the recent 
Council of Baltimore, diocesan regulations were made, Counsellors 
were appointed, and a Chancery established. The work of com- 
pleting the Cathedral was also discussed, and the erection and proper 
management of parish schools, as well the careful instruction of the 
young were earnestly enjoined. The Holy See was also solicited 
to make SS. Peter and Paul the Patrons of the Diocese. 

The architect's report of 1856, to the rector of the Cathedral 
parish, the Rev. E. Q. S. Waldron, shows that much work had now 
been done, and the Bishop's remarks at the annual meeting were 
very encouraging. "The circumstances of its progressing slowly," 
he said, "ought not to discourage anyone, nor should anyone be 
tempted to doubt of its ever being finished. The old saying holds 
here: 'What is to last must be built slowly.' Our principal object 
in moving thus slowly is that the faithful may not be taxed too 
heavily, since every parish has its own institutions to support." 
During the year Bishop Neumann visited fifty-two churches, bless- 
ing corner-stones, dedicating churches, and ordaining priests, be- 
sides advancing the work on the Cathedral. 

His humility, in spite of the enormous amount of work that he 
did, made him feel that he was not fitted to administer a diocese like 
Philadelphia. He would gladly have gone back to his habit and 
Religious Order, and in fact applied to the Pope for permission to 
do so, but Pope Pius IX replied: "Because you, my beloved son, 
have united the virtues of a Religious with the burden of a Bishop, 
you shall remain a Religious, and even if you were no longer a full 
member of the Congregation, I would, by virtue of my power, re- 


ceive you as such.*' The Bishop was convinced, however, as he 
wrote to Archbishop Kenrick on 19 November, 1856, that more 
could be done in Philadelphia by one whose natural gifts enabled 
him to arouse the faithful, and officiate to their satisfaction on great 
occasions. He felt almost certain that Pottsville would be erected 
into a See, and that he would be made its Bishop. The Sovereign 
Pontiff, however, did not divide the Diocese, although the Provin- 
cial Council had petitioned him to do so. Instead, he gave to Bishop 
Neumann a co-adjutor, in the person of the Rev. James Frederick 
Wood, a native of Philadelphia, and at that time a priest in the 
Diocese of Cincinnati. He was consecrated Bishop of Antigonia 
and Co-adjutor Bishop of Philadelphia, with the right of succes- 
sion, in the Cathedral at Cincinnati, on 26 April, 1857. Bishop 
Neumann assisted at the consecration, and escorted his Co-adjutor 
back to Philadelphia. Bishop Wood began at once to render excel- 
lent aid in administering the See. His training in the banking busi- 
ness had made him particularly efficient in the work of managing 
the church temporalities, although he also lightened Bishop Neu- 
mann's burden by his visitations of churches and institutions and 
administering Confirmation. At a meeting of the clergy held in 
June, Bishop Neumann announced that the work of completing the 
Cathedral had been committed to Bishop Wood. 

On 28 and 29 October, 1857, the Diocesan Synod was held 
in the private chapel of the Bishop's residence. Bishop Wood pre- 
sided at both sessions, and the other officials of the Synod were the 
Promoter, the Very Rev. Charles I. H. Carter, V. G. ; Procurators : 
the Very Rev. John V. O'Reilly, V. F. ; the Rev. Patrick Sheri- 
dan, the Rev. J. Felix Barbelin, S. J., and the Rev. Robert Kline- 
idan, C. SS. R. ; Secretary, the Rev. Thomas Reardon; Assistant 
Secretary, the Rev. Richard O'Connor; Master of Ceremonies, the 
Rev. William O'Hara, S. T. D.; Chanters, the Rev. Nicholas 
O'Brien, the Rev. Charles J. Maugin; the Bishop's Notary, the 
Rev. Patrick A. Nugent. There were 1 14 priests present, and 
thirty-two were excused by the Bishop from attendance. 

Bishop Wood foreseeing that the building of the Cathedral 
would be protracted for several years, in the latter part of 1857 had 


erected on Summer Street, on a lot adjoining the Episcopal Resi- 
dence, the present brick chapel in which the congregation might wor- 
ship instead of in the private chapel of the Bishop's house. The 
work was directly superintended by the Bishop, and on 1 3 Decem- 
ber, 1857, the building was ready for services, and was consecrated. 
The Rev. P. A. Nugent was appointed Rector in the place of 
Father Waldron, who had been transferred to Baltimore, and the 
Rev. William Cook was made assistant. Father Nugent was soon 
succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Quinn as Pastor, with the Rev. 
Augustine J. McConomy as assistant. In the meantime the work 
of erecting the Cathedral advanced rapidly and the walls were 
completed. On 13 September, 1859, a large gathering witnessed 
the placing of the keystone in position, also the blessing of the cross, 
which was performed by Bishop Wood, who himself raised it to its 
lofty position on the top of the dome. Bishop Spaulding delivered 
a masterly and eloquent address, and Bishop Neumann presided. 

In the same year, 1859, a large tract of ground, with suitable 
buildings, known as the Aston Ridge Female Academy, was pur- 
chased at Glen Riddle, Delaware County, where on 7 September 
was opened a Preparatory Seminary, in which candidates for the 
priesthood could pursue their classical studies, instead of, as hereto- 
fore, at St. Charles's College, Ellicott City, Maryland. The Very 
Rev. Jeremiah F. Shanahan, afterwards Bishop of Harrisburg, was 
appointed Rector. 

Together with the work of completing the Cathedral, his epis- 
copal visitations, confirmations, and ordinations, the years of Bishop 
Neumann's episcopate were marked by the erection of twenty 
churches in his diocese, for he followed out his predecessor's plan of 
supplying the needs of the Catholics in the various districts, as soon 
as a sufficient number warranted the erection of a parish. 

St. d&arv One of the first cares of Bishop Neumann was the 

flftaa&alen be providing for the Italian immigrants who were then 
Pa33t , s settled in the neighborhood of Seventh and Carpen- 

Cburcb, 1852 ter Streets, in St. Paul's Parish. On 24 September, 
1852, an old Methodist chapel, with a small burial-ground, and a 
small house which served as a pastoral residence, were bought by 


the Bishop, and placed under the charge of the Rev. Gaetano Mari- 
ani. The old chapel was immediately put in order for divine service, 
and placed under the patronage of St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi. 
Additional lots were soon after bought, and building of a new church 
was begun around the old chapel. The corner-stone was laid on 1 4 
May, 1854, after Vespers, by Bishop Neumann. The Rev. J. 
McGuigan, S. J., preached the sermon. The committee appointed 
to secure funds for the erection of the church, consisted of Messrs. 
John Raggio, John Kerns, Thomas Timmons, Patrick Kane, James 
Questa, Patrick Auliffe, John Cassidy, Philip Kelly, and N. F. 
Costello. When the new building was finished, the old chapel on 
the inside of it was removed, and the church dedicated on 23 Octo- 
ber, 1857. Father Mariani remained in charge until his death, 
which occurred 8 March, 1 866. He was regarded as a saint, and 
many remarkable cures are related as having been performed by 
him. His grave, in St. Mary's Cemetery, was for many years a 
place of pilgrimage. 

Our rtBotbet Bishop Kenrick, with the foresight amounting almost 
of Sotrowe' *° ms pi rat *o n that characterized his administering for 
jg 5 2 the future of the Diocese, in 1849, purchased a farm, 

in the very distant part of West Philadelphia at 
what is now Forty-eighth Street and Lancaster Avenue. On part 
of this ground was laid out the Cathedral Cemetery. A portion of 
the property was also set apart for St. John's Orphan Asylum, which 
was afterwards built there, on its present site, in the early 'fifties. 

There were then but few Catholics in the villages of Mantua 
and Hestonville in that district. When the Sisters of St. Joseph 
and the orphans took their abode in the new Asylum, the Rev. J. C. 
McGinnis was appointed Chaplain of the institution, and the Catho- 
lics in that part of West Philadelphia attended Mass in the Asylum 
chapel. In 1852 Father McGinnis improvised a chapel in a rude 
tool-shed built near the entrance to the cemetery on Forty-eighth 
Street; a temporary altar was erected, and Father McGinnis said 
his second Mass on Sunday in this chapel, which accommodated 
scarcely the score of people who attended. This tool-shed chapel 


was called St. Gregory's. In 1 853 Father McGinnis was succeeded 
by the Rev. C. A. Dellanave, who enlarged the chapel to double its 
former size. In 1856 the Rev. James Kelly was appointed pastor. 
He added two wings to the chapel, in one of which he lived. After 
five years the Rev. William Kean took charge. 

st The Rev. Father Hugh Lane, founder of St. Ter- 

Gerega's esas Parish* ^ rom his ordination on 2 June, 1844, 

1353 had been stationed in the missions of South New 

Jersey, and when the Diocese of Newark was 
erected, in 1853, he was recalled by Bishop Neumann and given 
the task of organizing a new parish south of St. John's, and west 
of St. Paul's. Bishop Neumann had already purchased a site for 
the church at the north-east corner of Broad and Catharine Streets. 
South-west of this there were only grazing tracts. Father Lane made 
friends of both Catholics and Protestants, and all entered earnestly 
with him into the work so energetically that the corner-stone of the 
new church was blessed on 29 May, 1853, by Bishop Neumann. 
The Rev. Dr. Monahan of St. Patrick's preached the sermon. The 
building of the edifice, the present church, advanced so rapidly that 
on Christmas Day, 1853, it was dedicated. Father Lane then built 
the pastoral residence, and in 1858 resigned the charge of St. 
Teresa's, and exchanging places with the Rev. John P. Dunn, 
became pastor at Kellyville. 

gt The Germans south of Market Street, no matter 

2Upbon0U0's, how f ar distant from Holy Trinity Church, were 
1353 counted as members of that parish. In the District 

of Southwark there were many German families who 
were at a great distance from Holy Trinity. With a view to estab- 
lishing here a church for German-speaking Catholics, Bishop Neu- 
mann secured a lot at the south-west corner of Fourth and Reed 
Streets, but was unable to provide a pastor, until the ordination of 
the Rev. Matthias Cobbin, on 21 May, 1853. Father Cobbin, 
although an Englishman, was educated in Germany, and spoke Ger- 
man with facility. He at once began work in the new parish, and 


on 1 9 June the corner-stone of St. Alphonsus's Church was blessed 
by Bishop Neumann. The present large structure was planned 
wisely, for although the congregation was then comparatively small, 
the future of the district was assured, in view of the changes in the 
municipality that were being arranged. A commodious basement on 
the level of the sidewalk was rapidly completed, in which for the 
following five years divine service was held. In 1 854 Father Repus 
succeeded Father Cobbin as pastor, and after a short time the church 
was placed in charge of the Franciscans, Fathers Alphonse, Zoellen, 
and Passodowski. A secular priest, Father Nicola, was appointed 
pastor after the Franciscans, and during his administration the church 
was completed, — an imposing structure, 135 ft. long and 60 ft. wide, 
with massive stone steps leading to the church proper on the upper 
floor. The building was surmounted by a belfry 135 ft. high. The 
aisles were arranged exceptionally wide, with large open spaces be- 
tween the pews and the sanctuary. This design was followed in 
order to facilitate the monthly processions held in honor of the 
Blessed Sacrament, by the Archconfraternity of the Blessed Sacra- 
ment, which was instituted in St. Alphonsus's Church by Bishop 
Neumann, he himself drawing up the rules and arranging the order 
of the devotions. The church was dedicated 4 March, 1860, by 
Bishop Wood. The Very Rev. Dr. P. E. Moriarty, O. S. A., 
preached the sermon. 

SU MtibQet'e, ^ n tne beginning of 1853 there were about twenty 
falls of Catholic families in the village of the Falls of 

5cbU£lfefU, Schuylkill, in the north-west of Philadelphia. For 

* 853 these Mass was celebrated in one of the private 

houses by a priest from St. Stephen's, the Rev. Edward Mc- 
Mahon. As the number increased it was found inconvenient to 
gather in a small house, and permission was obtained to celebrate 
Mass in the village hall, which was used for religious services 
by several denominations. The illiberal-minded inhabitants of the 
Falls of Schuylkill opposed the permission being given to Catho- 
lics to use the building for divine service, and an attempt was 
made to set it on fire. Father McMahon therefore resolved to 


build a church, and at a meeting called in the summer of 1853, 
tradition says, thirteen men and boys were present. However, 
enthusiasm made up for numbers, and the present parish prop- 
erty on the south side of James Street was secured. In Septem- 
ber the corner-stone of the church was blessed. While the church 
was being built, Bishop Neumann formed the district into a separate 
parish, and gave it in charge of the Rev. James Cullen, who had 
been an assistant at St. Michael's. The church building was com- 
pleted in 1855, and dedicated in honor of St. Bridget. 

©ur. flftotber In the early 'fifties Chestnut Hill was far from being 
of Consolation, the beautiful suburb that it is to-day, the village con- 
Cbestnut f>Ul, sisting of a few dwellings lying between the Reading 
1855 and Pennsylvania Railroad Stations. There were 

some Catholics among the inhabitants, and there were others scat- 
tered through the farm districts in the neighborhood. To supply the 
religious needs of these, the Provincial of the Augustinians, the Rev. 
Dr. Moriarty, O. S. A., with the permission of Bishop Neumann, 
on 15 October, 1853, purchased ground on which to build a church 
at Chestnut Hill. He blessed the corner-stone on 10 June, 1855, 
and on 1 1 November, 1855, Bishop Neumann dedicated the church. 
The nave and tower of the present church, and the front part of the 
pastoral residence north-west of it, were built by Dr. Moriarty, who 
was the most famous of the Augustinian Fathers who have minis- 
tered in the United States. He remained in charge until 1 874. 

On 2 February, 1 854, Gov. Bigler signed the Bill incorporat- 
ing the old City of Philadelphia and the twenty-eight surrounding 
districts which comprised the County of Philadelphia, into the City 
of Philadelphia. During the ten previous years efforts had been 
made to effect this. The serious riots of 1 844 called general public 
attention to the insufficiency of the police system, and the dissatisfac- 
tion led to an appeal being made to the Legislature for consolida- 
tion. But in place of this an Act was passed establishing a police 
system for the entire County, practically giving the Sheriff of the 
County power to appoint and command the police. This measure 


gave only partial relief, and some changes were made in later years, 
but the citizens were not satisfied. In September, 1849, a public 
meeting was held in favor of complete consolidation, and in the same 
year the Grand Jury made a special Presentation of the necessity 
for such action, and this recommendation was made by subsequent 
Grand Juries for a long while. After several efforts, all of which 
the Legislature rejected, a compromise was finally suggested, plan- 
ning to incorporate all the districts north of Vine Street into one 
jurisdiction, the City of North Philadelphia ; and all the similar dis- 
tricts south of Cedar (South) Street, into the City of South Phila- 
delphia, and the territory west of the Schuylkill River, into the 
City of West Philadelphia. 1 While this plan was not wholly with- 
out merit, it was not accepted by the people, and the agitation con- 
tinued for the Greater Philadelphia. In the Fall of 1853, Mr. Eli 
K. Price was elected a member of the Senate, as a special advocate 
of consolidation, and his Bill, after several revisions, was passed by 
both Houses, and signed by the Governor. The population of 
Philadelphia at that time was 425,000, of whom 21,000 were 
negroes. The first Mayor of Greater Philadelphia was Robert 
C. Conrad. 

The consolidation of Philadelphia was the first of the Greater 
City movements, and instantly the City took on new life; the build- 
ing of Street Railways was begun, to take the place of the old 
omnibuses that had bumped their way over the cobblestones of the 
city. The first of the street-car lines was one running on Fifth and 
Sixth Streets, which opened for business 10 January, 1858, and 
within a year seven other independent roads were under construction. 

In the seven years and more during which Bishop Neumann 
had been in charge of the Diocese of Philadelphia, he had faith- 
fully given all his strength to the furtherance of religion, and two 
lasting memorials marked his energy in temporal and spiritual mat- 
ters, viz., the completion of the Cathedral, and the establishment 
of the Forty Hours' Devotion in the Diocese. In the beginning of 
the year 1860, the Bishop, although relaxing nothing of his atten- 

1 The Consolidation of Phila., by Dr. Leffmann. 


tion to his duties, seems to have had a premonition of his approaching 
end, for in speaking with one of the Lay-Brothers of the Redemp- 
torist Order at St. Peter's on death, the Bishop said: "A Christian, 
and still more a Religious, should always be prepared for a good 
death, and in that case a sudden one is not without its advantages. 
It spares us, as well as our attendants, many a temptation to impa- 
tience; besides, the devil has not so much time to trouble us. In 
either case, however, the death that God sends is the best for us." 

On Thursday, 5 January, 1 860, the Bishop went through the 
routine of his morning duties, and after dinner walked down Vine 
Street to the Magistrate's office to arrange for the signing of a deed 
connected with some church property. On his way home he sud- 
denly dropped unconscious on the steps of No. 1218 Vine Street, 
the residence of Mr. Quein, who carried him into the parlor of his 
house, and at once sent a messenger to the Cathedral. A few 
moments before the arrival of a priest the Bishop expired. 

The news of his death soon spread throughout the city and 
caused universal grief. On Saturday the body of the Venerable 
Servant of God lay in state in the Cathedral chapel, and all day 
Sunday it was visited by priests and people. On Monday, 9 Janu- 
ary, the remains were carried in solemn procession to St. John's 
Church, where Solemn Requiem Mass was offered by Bishop 
Wood. Archbishop Kenrick, of Baltimore, delivered a beautiful 
funeral oration over the Bishop whom he knew and appreciated so 
thoroughly. "His soul now communes," said the preacher, "with 
the Ambroses, the Augustines, the Gregorys, and especially the 
sainted Alphonsus, whom he imitated so diligently. With them 
he praises God for the multitude of His mercies, and gives Him 
homage." The body of the Bishop was at first interred at St. John's 
Church, but the next day Archbishop Kenrick acceded to the desire 
of the Fathers of the Redemptorist Order, and the body was re- 
interred in St. Peter's. Over his tomb a Memorial Chapel has been 

During his life Bishop Neumann had been regarded as a saint. 
Many invoked his intercession after his death. In several cases 
remarkable effects seem to have been secured through his aid. In 


1885 application was made to Rome for the introduction of the 
Cause of the Beatification of Bishop Neumann, and the Proprietary 
Process was begun in Philadelphia, and in Budweiss, Bohemia. 
For two years a Commission in each place received testimony, the 
result of which was submited to the Congregation of Rites, which 
decided that the Apostolic Process of the Beatification should be 
instituted in both cities. In Philadelphia, this Process began in 
1897, and after five years the results were approved by the Holy 
See. Four authenticated accounts of actual miracles are necessary 
in this Process, and six such authentications were sent by the 
examiners from Philadelphia. Bishop Prendergast presided over 
this Commission, of which the Very Rev. Joseph Wissel, C. SS. R., 
was Postulator of the Cause, while the Rev. Anthony J. Zielen- 
bach, C. SS. R., took the part of the Devil's Advocate. The Judges 
of the Court of Inquiry were the Right Rev. James J. Fitzmaurice, 
pastor of St. Michael's Church; the Rev. Joseph M. Jerge, S. J., 
pastor of St. Joseph's Church ; the Rev. Henry Stommel, pastor of 
St. Alphonsus's Church; the Rev. A. A. Gallagher, pastor of the 
Visitation Church ; the Rev. Bernard Dornhege, pastor of St. Eliza- 
beth's Church, and the Rev. C. A. McEvoy, O. S. A. Part of 
the work of the Commission was the identification of the body of 
the Bishop, and in April, 1 902, all the Commission, with physicians 
that had been appointed by the Archbishop, and several priests and 
other witnesses, including the family of Joseph Stohl, the only sur- 
viving relatives of Bishop Neumann, opened the tomb, which had 
been closed for forty-two years. The report of the identification of 
the body and its condition were sent to Rome, and as a result John 
Nepomucene Neumann, Fourth Bishop of Philadelphia, was de- 
clared Venerable, and the further process for the Beatification 
ordered to be prosecuted. In the meantime, the little Memorial 
Chapel at Fifth Street and Girard Avenue is a place of pilgrimage. 

Administration of the Right Rev. James Frederick Wood, 
D. D., Fifth Bishop of Philadelphia. — Early Life of 
the Bishop. — Condition of the Diocese at the Be- 
ginning of His Administration. — Annunciation B. 
V. M., All Saints', Parishes Founded. — War of the 
Rebellion.— Cathedral Opened for Divine Services. 
— Founding of St. Clement's, St. Agatha's, St. Ed- 
ward's, St. Bonifacius's. — Seminary Transferred 


Church. — Second Plenary Council of Baltimore. — 
Bishop Wood's Visit to Rome. 

I HE Right Rev. James Frederick Wood, Fifth 
Bishop of Philadelphia, who had been conse- 
crated Co-ad jutor with the right of succession, 
took charge of the Diocese immediately upon the 
death of Bishop Neumann. 

The new prelate was born in Philadelphia, 
27 April, 1813, in a three-story brick dwelling, at the south-west 
corner of Front and Chestnut Streets. The house had been built in 
pre-Revolutionary times, for John Mifflin, Merchant, the father of 
General Thomas Mifflin, the first Governor of Pennsylvania under 
the Constitution of 1 789. James Wood, the father of the Bishop, 
was an auctioneer, and carried on his business in a part of the double 
mansion. The child was baptized 11 October, 1813, by James 
Taylor, Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, at 
the north-east corner of Tenth and Locust Streets, and was given 
the name of James Frederick Bryan. In 1827 James Wood and 
his family moved to Cincinnati, where James Frederick became a 
clerk in a bank. On 7 April, 1838, James Frederick Wood was 

Fifth Bishop, First Archbishop, of Philadelphia. 


received into the Catholic Church by Bishop Purcell of Cincinnati, 
and after a year was sent to the College of the Propaganda in Rome, 
to prepare for the priesthood, where he was ordained by Cardinal 
Fransoni, 25 March, 1 844. After his return to America, 1 Octo- 
ber, 1 844, he was appointed to the Cathedral, and later was made 
pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Cincinnati. 

His personality and personal attainments caused him to be 
nominated as first Bishop of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and three years 
later his was one of the names sent to Rome from which was selected 
the Co-adjutor Bishop of Bardstown. Finally, Dr. Wood was ap- 
pointed by the Pope and consecrated Bishop of Antigonia, and Co- 
adjutor Bishop of Philadelphia, with the right of succession, on 26 
April, 1857, by Archbishop Purcell, assisted by Bishop Neumann 
of Philadelphia, and Bishop Whelan, of Wheeling, Virginia. Dr. 
O'Hara, and Fathers Keenan and Carter, represented the priests 
of the Philadelphia Diocese at the consecration. Before his depar- 
ture for Philadelphia, the people of St. Patrick's parish, Cincin- 
nati, presented the new Bishop with a magnificent pectoral cross and 
chain. He arrived in Philadelphia, escorted by Bishop Neumann 
and the priests who had been present at his consecration, and at once 
began with great energy his work in Philadelphia. His first public 
function was the administration of Confirmation at St. Mary's 
Church, Sunday, 10 May, and on Sunday, 24 May, he confirmed 
at the Church of the Assumption. On Pentecost Sunday, 31 
May, 1857, Bishop Wood celebrated his first Pontifical High Mass, 
in St. John's Church. At a meeting of the clergy, 1 2 June, Bishop 
Neumann publicly handed over to Bishop Wood the gigantic task 
of completing the Cathedral building. On this he began at once, 
and demonstrated his ability by infusing new energy into the busi- 
ness of collections. Foreseeing that the work would still be a long 
time delayed, he erected the brick chapel on Summer Street. On 2 1 
June, 1857, Bishop Wood celebrated Pontifical High Mass at the 
consecration of St. Philip's Church, Bishop Neumann performing 
the ceremony of consecrating the church, and preaching the sermon. 

On 1 1 May, 1 858, Bishop Wood sent a circular letter to the 
clergy of the Diocese, ordering collections for the Cathedral to be 


taken up in all the churches on Sunday, 30 May, and not later than 
Sunday, 20 July, and he himself preached or gave Confirmation in 
many of the city churches on the days of the collection. Bishop 
Wood emulated the example of Bishop Neumann, and the news- 
paper records show that he preached in one or more churches every 
Sunday, and during the first years after his consecration preached one 
of the Forty Hours* Devotion sermons in the city churches. 

When Bishop Wood began the administration of the Diocese 
at the death of Bishop Neumann, 5 January, 1860, the Catholic 
population of the See, which then included Delaware, was 200,000. 
There were 131 churches and 17 chapels attended by 137 priests. 
The Preparatory and Theological Seminaries were in flourishing 
condition, while 40 parish schools were attended by 8,631 pupils. 
The Jesuits were in charge of St. Joseph's College; and the Reli- 
gious Communities of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, the Sisters 
of the Holy Child, the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Sisters of Notre 
Dame, and the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary had flour- 
ishing academies, while the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Sisters 
of Charity, and Sisters of the Holy Cross, were in charge of the 
hospitals, asylums, and an industrial school. 

The Bishop's early business training had fitted him for admin- 
istrative work. Under his careful management, as has been seen, 
the exterior structural work of the Cathedral was finished. The 
consolidation of the city in 1 854 had given new impetus to building 
operations, especially in the southern part of the city. The old 
districts of Moyamensing and Passyunk, that formerly had been 
given up to pleasure-grounds and private cemeteries, such as the 
Ronaldson, the Philanthropic, the Macphelah, the LaFayette, and 
others, now found themselves the favorite region for building opera- 
tions. The Moyamensing Potter's Field, between Eleventh and 
Twelfth Streets, on Tidmarsh (now Carpenter) Street, and several 
family estates, with large orchards in that neighborhood, became 
the sites for large and commodious dwelling-houses. The result was 
that Bishop Wood saw the need of a new parish in the extreme 
south of the city, where a scattering population began to settle, and 


therefore St. Paul's parish was divided at Federal Street. Three 
squares south of this division, at the south-east corner of Tenth and 
Dickinson Streets, a large lot was purchased as a site for a church, 
and the Rev. John McAnany, the assistant at St. Paul's, was placed 
in charge of the new parish. 

£ bc On 15 April, 1860, the corner-stone of the new 

annunciation krick ecnnce was blessed by Bishop Wood. The 
« D^ i860 nrst Mass was said on Christmas Day, although the 
building was unfinished, and services were after- 
wards held in the basement of the church, until the building was 
completed, and dedicated by Bishop Wood in 1863, in honor of 
the Blessed Virgin, under the title of The Annunciation. 

The immediate neighborhood of the church at that time was 
little more than a wilderness. Only a square away stood the Moya- 
mensing County Prison, which had been built in 1837; and just 
back of it was the Parade Ground, established for the manoeuvres 
of the militia. Far to the north-east and south were private ceme- 
teries, and great expanses of truck farms. Bishop Wood, however, 
was justified in his selection of the site, for within a few years the 
district became thickly populated. After Father McAnany had 
completed the erection of the pastoral residence next to the church 
he opened a parish school in the basement of the church, in 1868, 
which was placed in charge of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart 
of Mary, who resided at the convent in St. Paul's parish. The 
parish constantly increased and made it necessary to provided a suit- 
able school building, so that in the spring of 1 876, at a meeting of 
the congregation, generous contributions were made, and a large 
brick school-building on Dickinson Street was immediately built, in 
which classes were opened the following year. 

2UI Saints', ^ n ^ e nortn - east P a rt of the city, a number of Ger- 
JSri&esburg, man Catholics in Bridesburg and the neighborhood 
I860 warranted the erection of a separate parish for them. 

In 1860 the Rev. Rudolph E. Kuenzer was ap- 
pointed pastor. He secured a site on Richmond Street and on 


15 August, 1860, the Rev. Father Carbon, then rector of Holy 
Trinity Church, blessed the corner-stone of the new church. In 
less than six months the building was ready for dedication, under 
the title of All Saints', and the ceremony was performed on 3 Febru- 
ary, 1861, by the Rev. Father Helmprecht, C. SS. R„ of New 
York. The Rev. Matthias J. Meurer was appointed the first resi- 
dent pastor, and remained until 1 868, when he was succeeded by the 
Rev. Bernard Baumeister, who remained only one year. The Rev. 
Hermann A. Depmann served as pastor until 1872, when Father 
Kuenzer again assumed charge of the parish, and two years later 
was succeeded by the Rev. John F. Fechtel. 

The election of President Lincoln, 6 November, 1860, crys- 
tallized the spirit of unrest that had upset the nation during the 
presidential campaign. South Carolina kept to the threat that had 
been made, and instantly seceded from the Union. The excitement 
that Philadelphia shared with the rest of the country at this overt 
act of rebellion prevented Bishop Wood from perfecting his plan 
to complete the interior work of the Cathedral, and interfered seri- 
ously with the establishment of new parishes. The Secessionist 
meetings in Charleston, the seceding of seven of the fifteen Slave 
States from the Union in the beginning of the year 1861 , the bitter 
feeling that prevailed North and South over the question of State 
Rights, the foundation of the Government of Confederate States of 
America, on 4 February, 1861, at Montgomery, Alabama; the 
absorption of the other Slave States into the Confederacy ; the prepa- 
ration for war in the South; the provoking apathy of President 
Buchanan; the inauguration of President Lincoln, 4 March, 1861, 
and finally the firing on Fort Sumpter — all these culminated in the 
breaking of the storm of war in its most awful form, the internecine 
strife of brothers. 

At President Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers, 15 April, 
Philadelphia resounded to the tramp of armed men and the roll 
of drums, as the troops of the east, north, and west assembled in 
the city, to take trains for Washington from the old Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad Station at Broad and Prime (now Washing- 
ton Avenue) Streets. During the anxious months that followed, 


the Diocese of Philadelphia was not behind in supplying patriots 
to defend the Union. Governor Curtin applied to Bishop Wood 
for the names of priests who could be assigned as chaplains, and 
of these the Rev. John McCusker, Chaplain of the 55th Penn- 
sylvania, died in the service, while Father Martin, Chaplain of 
the 69th, went through McClellan's campaign. The Sisters of 
Charity and Sisters of Mercy of the city were summoned to act 
as nurses to the sick and wounded in the hospitals and on the 
battlefield. Everyone in the North was convinced that the trouble 
would be speedily ended by the Government's display of force; 
but as the months rolled away, and further calls were made for 
troops, it became apparent that a long, serious struggle was before 
the Nation. 

Bishop Wood, in his reports of the Cathedral Fund, for 
1861, said: 

Knowing well the straitened circumstances of the great mass of those 
who have hitherto contributed so faithfully and so generously to the erection 
of the Cathedral, we have, although never more in want of means to 
prosecute the work, abstained this year from the usual annual collection. We 
fervently hope that when the present crisis is passed, peace has been restored, 
and the commercial and manufacturing interests have resumed their cus- 
tomary activity and prosperity, our faithful and generous friends will find 
themselves in a condition to make up all our deficiencies. . . . The 
exterior of the dome may be regarded as entirely finished; and the interior 
has already been prepared by the carpenters for plastering. The ball and 
the cross have been richly gilt. Preparations have been made to remove the 
scaffolding as soon as the solid and admirably constructed tin roof has 
received a sufficient coating of sand and paint of the purest quality to insure 
its durability. The ceiling of the whole interior of the church — the nave, the 
transepts, the apse and the pendentive domes in the side-aisles — has been 
completed by the carpenters, and almost all lathed by the plasterers, who are 
now engaged in putting the second coat of plaster on the portion finished. 

In spite of Philadelphia being the theatre of war, and in 
constant commotion through the entraining of troops for the front, 
and the hospital of thousands of wounded soldiers brought from 
the scenes of battle, Bishop Wood and his clergy continued the 


work of the Church. The Cathedral progressed, and on 20 No- 
vember, 1864, the great edifice was blessed and opened for divine 
service with great solemnity. The Bishop himself officiated, and 
the Assistant Priest was the Very Rev. William O'Hara, V. G., 
then Rector of St. Patrick's Church, and afterwards Bishop of 
Scranton. The Rev. James O'Connor, afterwards Bishop of Ne- 
braska, was Deacon of the Mass, and the Rev. Jeremiah Shanahan, 
afterwards Bishop of Harrisburg, was Sub-deacon. The sermon 
on the occasion was preached by Archbishop Spalding of Balti- 

St. Clement's Among the first evidences of Diocesan activity dur- 
IPascbalville m £ tne P er * oc l °f emergence from the Civil con- 
IQQ^ flict, was the establishment of a new parish at 

Paschalville, at the south-west border of the city, 
joining Delaware County. The Rev. Andrew J. Gallagher, who 
had been ordained at St. Patrick's Church, 24 May, 1863, was 
appointed, toward the close of 1864, to establish a new parish 
that would include all the southern part of the city west of the 
Schuylkill, south of St. James's parish, and part of Delaware 
County. The congregation consisted of sixteen persons, and the 
first parish church was a frame-structure erected near Darby Creek, 
in Delaware County. Early in 1865, however, Mr. Clement Ar- 
wig gave a plot of ground at the south-east corner of Seventy- 
first Street and Woodland Avenue, and on this the present hand- 
some church was erected. The corner-stone was blessed on Sun- 
day, 25 June, by Bishop Wood, assisted by the Revs. A. J. Mc- 
Conomy and J. Fitzmaurice. The sermon was delivered by Bishop 
McGill of Richmond, Virginia. The work progressed very slowly, 
and before it was finished, November, 1868, Father Gallagher 
was transferred to Pottsville, and the Rev. Thos. O'Neill appointed 
pastor. On 1 5 August, 1 869, the new church was ready for 
service, and was dedicated by Bishop Wood. The Very Rev. 
Maurice A. Walsh, V. G., celebrated the Mass, and the Right 
Rev. William O'Hara, who had been lately consecrated Bishop of 
Scranton, preached the sermon. The pastoral residence was the 


old Summit House, on the west side of Woodland Avenue south 
of Seventieth Street, which was afterwards transformed by addi- 
tional buildings into the present St. Vincent's Home and Maternity 
Hospital, when Father O'Neill had erected the present commodious 
pastoral residence, south of the church. 

St, Bgatba's ^he rapidly-increasing population and the erection 
Gburcb °f numerous new dwellings in West Philadelphia 

1865 made it necessary to form a new parish in that 

part of the city north of St. James's parish. Bishop 
Wood therefore purchased the Protestant Episcopal Church of 
St. Andrew, which had been built in 1819, at the north-west 
corner of Thirty-sixth and Grape (now Mellon) Streets, and was 
the first house of worship erected in West Philadelphia. The 
rectory was also included in the purchase. On 10 October, 1865, 
the Rev. John E. Fitzmaurice, the present Bishop of Erie, who 
had been ordained 21 December, 1862, and was assistant at St. 
John's Church, was appointed rector of the new parish. Father 
Fitzmaurice immediately assumed charge and began his work of 
organizing the parish. After the private blessing of the old church, 
Father Fitzmaurice celebrated the first Mass in it on the fol- 
lowing Sunday. On 18 October, the Bishop publicly dedicated 
the church to the honor of God, under the title of St. Agatha. 
The number of Catholics was comparatively small, but Father 
Fitzmaurice after a few years began to prepare for the future 
that was assured in West Philadelphia. In 1874 he was enabled 
to secure the present very desirable site at the north-west corner 
of Thirty-eighth and Spring Garden Streets. During the summer 
of that year the ground was cleared, and the foundations of the 
present church were laid, the corner-stone being blessed by Bishop 
Wood on 18 October. The congregation continued to worship in 
the old church, and in 1878, on 20 October, almost the fourth 
anniversary of the blessing of the corner-stone, the beautiful build- 
ing, practically as it is to-day, costing $120,000, was completed 
and paid for, and was dedicated by Archbishop Wood. Bishop 
Shanahan of Harrisburg preached the sermon on the occasion. 


St. Bowato Having provided for the spiritual condition of West 
tbe Confessor' Philadelphia, Bishop Wood saw the need of a 
jg£5 new parish in the north-east section of the city. 

The economic advantage of purchasing a church 
building already erected had been demonstrated at St. Agatha's, 
and Bishop Wood pursued the same plan in providing for the new 
parish of St. Edward's. Accordingly the old Protestant Episco- 
pal church of St. Bartholomew, at the north-east corner of Eighth 
and York Streets, was purchased in 1865, at Sheriff's sale, and 
the Rev. Edward McMahon was appointed pastor of the new 
parish, formed out of portions of St. Michael's and St. Malachy's. 
On 26 November, 1865, the building was dedicated by Bishop 
Wood, under the patronage of St. Edward. The pastor took 
up his dwelling in a temporary parochial residence at 2417 Ger- 
mantown Avenue. Father McMahon had been born in Ireland 
in 1800, and had come to this country in 1824; on 3 July, 1825, 
he was ordained to the priesthood by the Right Rev. B. J. Flaget, 
D. D., Bishop of Bardstown, Ky. For a time he had served as 
President of St. Joseph's College, Bardstown. In 1850 he was 
affiliated with the Diocese of Pittsburg, where he was appointed 
Vicar General by Bishop O'Connor. Father McMahon's admin- 
istration at St. Edward's was handicapped by a lawsuit entered 
into by some of the Episcopalian congregation of St. Bartholomew's, 
who questioned the legality of the sale of their church. For ten 
years the suit dragged from court to court, and was finally settled 
in Bishop Wood's favor. In the meantime Father McMahon died, 
on 7 October, 1873, and the funeral Mass was said by the Right 
Rev. William O'Hara, D. D., Bishop of Scranton, assisted by 
the Rev. E. F. Gartland of Pittsburg, and the Revs. William Pol- 
lard and Francis L. Tobin, both of Pittsburg, as Deacon and Sub- 
deacon respectively. The funeral oration was preached by the Right 
Rev. A. M. Toebbe, Bishop of Covington, Ky. On 6 December, 
1873, the Rev. P. F. Sullivan, who had been senior assistant at St. 
Paul's Church, was appointed pastor. The Rev. John J. Ward, 
now rector of the Church of the Sacred Heart, who had charge of 


affairs for two months after the death of Father McMahon, re- 
mained to assist Father Sullivan. At the conclusion of the lawsuit 
the material progress of the parish, which had been suspended dur- 
ing the litigation, was energetically pursued. As the old church 
had become too small for the growing congregation, Father Sullivan 
built on the north-west corner of Seventh and York Streets, a 
school-building. The lower portion was divided into school-rooms, 
and the upper part served as a church. The corner-stone was laid 
6 May, 1883, by the Very Rev. Maurice A. Walsh, V. G., who 
was then Administrator of the Archdiocese. 

gt< St. Peter's congregation had grown to be one of 

J3ontfaciu0 y ^ e l ar 8 est m tne c ^y» anc ^ ** became necessary to 

Gburcb 1866 P rov i^ e f° r the extensive German settlement in the 

north-eastern section of the city. Accordingly, in 

1866, property for a new church was purchased on the south side 
of Diamond Street between Mascher and Hancock Streets, and 
the Rev. John W. Gerdemann, who had been ordained 28 July, 
1864, was appointed pastor. A three-story brick structure was 
erected on the south-west corner of Mascher and Diamond Streets. 
The corner-stone was blessed 9 December, 1 866, by Bishop Wood. 
A sermon in German was preached by Father Grundtner, and 
Fathers McMahon and McConomy made addresses in English. 
The building, which is part of the present parochial school was 40 
feet wide by 80 feet long, and was dedicated on Sunday, 1 4 July, 

1867, under the name of St. Bonifacius. Bishop O'Hara offici- 
ated, and made an address in English; Father Grundtner sang the 
Solemn Mass, and the Rev. F. J. Wachter preached the sermon 
in German. The first floor of the building was used as a chapel, 
the second as a school, and on the third floor the pastor resided, 
until the summer of 1873. In 1869 the rector began the building 
of a Gothic church of stone, 87 feet wide by 148 feet long. The 
church was dedicated Sunday, 15 December, 1872, by Bishop 
Wood; the Rev. William Lowekamp, C. SS. R., sang the Mass; 
and Bishop Toebbe of Covington, Ky., preached. At the end 
of 1874, the Rev. Ernest O. Hiltermann was appointed pastor, 


and during the following year he renovated and repaired the church. 
In August, 1876, Archbishop Wood placed the parish under the 
care of the Redemptorist Fathers, the first Rector being Father 
Sniep, who had as his assistants Fathers Hoffman, Schnuettgen, 
and Breihof. The Fathers lived in a small house adjoining the 
church on the east, which is now used for society rooms. In July, 
1877, the Rev. F. X. Schnuettgen succeeded to the pastorate. 

In his administration of the Diocese Bishop Wood prepared 
not only for its future material greatness by planning and organizing 
parishes, but also for the future spiritual well-being by transferring 
the Seminary at Eighteenth and Race Streets to the large and health- 
ful situation at Overbrook, in Montgomery County, whereon was 
erected the present magnificent seminary, pronounced by competent 
judges to be one of the finest educational establishments in this 
Republic, and one of the grandest diocesan seminaries in the world. 
In a pastoral letter of 8 December, 1 865, Bishop Wood announced 
that he had purchased a tract of land of 124 acres, known as the 
Remington Estate, at Overbrook, for $30,000. To this was after- 
wards added another purchase of a thirteen acre lot fronting on 
City Avenue, which was purchased 7 May, 1870, for $1200. No 
more suitable site could have been secured for the proposed seminary, 
situated as it is in a beautiful rolling country diversified by meadows, 
woodlands, irrigated by a branch of Indian Creek which passes 
through it, and possessing stone quarries from which the proposed 
buildings were erected. There was urgent need of such a change 
of location, for the old seminary was in the heart of the city, and the 
increased number of students made necessary a large building and 
more healthful surroundings. The corner-stone of the new Semin- 
ary was laid on Wednesday afternoon, 4 April, 1866, by Bishop 
Wood, assisted by about one hundred priests, and in the presence 
of a large gathering of the laity. The Bishop was assisted by the 
Very Rev. William O'Hara, D. D., V. G., as Assistant Priest. 
The Very Rev. James O'Connor, then rector of the Seminary at 
Eighteenth and Race Streets, and the Very Rev. Jeremiah F. 
Shanahan, rector of the Preparatory Seminary at Glen Riddle, 
were Deacons of Honor. The Rev. Michael O'Connor, S. J., 

XXX. THE SEMINARY, 1871 381 

who had shortly before laid aside the episcopal insignia, as Bishop 
of Pittsburgh, and joined the Society of Jesus, and who had been 
one of the first seminary rectors, delivered an eloquent discourse, 
in which he reviewed the early history of the Seminary. 

The work of building was continued under the architects, 
Samuel F. Sloan and Addison Hutton. The style of building is 
of Italian architecture, with an imposing facade, the whole range 
of central buildings and pavilions facing the East and making a 
frontage of nearly four hundred feet. Running at right angles to 
the front of the building are two structures at the north and south, 
while back of the central building stands a beautiful chapel, 105 
feet long by 45 feet wide. 

On Saturday, 16 September, 1871, the students from Eight- 
eenth and Race Streets, and from Glen Riddle, 128 in number, 
took up their abode in the new buildings, and the Preparatory Sem- 
inary at Glen Riddle was discontinued, the building being sold to 
the Sisters of St. Francis. 

In a Historical Sketch of the Philadelphia Seminary of St. 
Charles Borromeo, the author, the Rev. A. J. Schulte, a pro- 
fessor of the Seminary, has given an engaging narrative of this 
magnificent institution, the pride and glory of the Catholics of 

On 12 August, 1866, Bishop Wood issued a circular letter 
announcing the convocation of the Second Plenary Council, by the 
Archbishop of Baltimore, and requesting the clergy and laity to 
observe Friday, 5 October, as a day of fasting, and ordering the 
Litany of the Saints to be recited on all Sundays after Mass. 

On 30 September, 1866, the day after the Patronal Feast, 
St. Michael's Church was consecrated by Bishop Wood. The 
Very Rev. Maurice A. Walsh, after having been four years rector 
of the Seminary, had been appointed pastor of St. Michael's, suc- 
ceeding the Rev. Thomas Kieran, who was transferred to St. 

On Sunday, 7 October, Bishop Wood was present at the 
opening of the Baltimore Council, being attended by the Revs. 
Charles I. H. Carter and Nicholas Cantwell as Theologians. The 


Rev. Dr. James A. Corcoran, afterwards Professor of the Sem- 
inary at Overbrook, was appointed Secretary of the Council, and the 
Rev. Dr. O'Hara, Rector of St. Patrick's, acted as assistant to 
Bishop Lynch in the Council. Bishop Wood took a prominent part 
in the deliberations of the Council, and on Monday evening, 15 
October, he preached before the assembled prelates in the Cathedral 
at Baltimore on the Infallibility of the Church. 

One of the acts of this Plenary Council was the appointing 
of 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, as a holiday of obligation. This decree 
was promulgated in Philadelphia by Archbishop Wood, 25 No- 
vember, 1868. 

On 1 7 March, 1 867, Bishop Wood issued a circular letter or- 
dering a collection to be taken up for the Pope, and on 26 May he is- 
sued a pastoral announcing his approaching visit to Rome to be pres- 
ent at the ceremony of the Commemoration of the Martyrdom of 
the Apostles SS. Peter and Paul, on 29 June, to which the Pope 
had summoned all the Bishops of the Church. Dr. O'Hara was 
appointed Administrator of the Diocese during the Bishop's ab- 
sence. After the ceremony in Rome Bishop Wood made a tour 
through Europe and arrived home 20 September, when he was 
greeted at Kensington Station by a large number of the clergy 
and laity. 

Administration of the Right Rev. James Frederick 
Wood, D. D. (Continued). — Establishment of the 
Sees of Scranton and Harrisburg. — Consecration 
of Bishops O'Hara and Shanahan. — Removal of the 
Bodies of Bishops Egan and Conwell to the Cathe- 
dral Crypt. — Tenth Provincial Council of Balti- 
more. — North American College Established in 
Rome. — Bishop Wood's Visit to Rome to Attend the 
Vatican Council. — Philadelphia Raised to a Met- 
ropolitan See and Bishop Wood Made Archbishop. — 
The Archbishop's Visit to Rome. — Death of Pius 
IX. — Collection for "Irish Famine." — First Provin- 
cial Council of Philadelphia. — Archbishop Wood's 
Silver Jubilee. — Death of Archbishop Wood. — Par- 
ishes Founded After the Partition of the Diocese: 
St. Charles Borromeo; The Gesu; Immaculate Con- 
ception B. V. M.; Maternity B. V. M.; Sacred 
Heart; St. Elizabeth's; Our Lady of the Visitation; 
St. Veronica's. 

IISHOP WOOD visited Rome in 1867. In his 
report of the Diocese of Philadelphia, he pe- 
titioned the Holy Father for the erection of new 
sees for north-east and north-west districts of his 
Diocese, which his failing health made it physi- 
cally impossible for him to visit and superintend. 
Accordingly, at the Consistory held 3 March, 1868, Harrisburg 
and Scranton were created episcopal sees, and the Rev. Jeremiah 
F. Shanahan, Rector of the Glen Riddle Seminary, was appointed 
Bishop of the former, and the Very Rev. William O'Hara, D. D., 


Pastor of St. Patrick's, was appointed Bishop of the latter. The 
Apostolic Briefs were received on Thursday, 2 July. 

The Rev. Jeremiah Francis Shanahan was born 13 July, 
1834, at Silver Lake, Susquehanna County, Pa., and was ordained 
3 July, 1859, in Philadelphia, by Bishop Neumann. He was, in 
September, 1859, appointed Rector of the Preparatory Seminary 
at Glen Riddle, and in this position he remained until his promotion 
to the See of Harrisburg. 

Bishop O'Hara was born 14 April, 1816, at Dungiven, 
County Derry, Ireland, and was ordained priest 21 December, 
1842, at Rome, by Cardinal Fransoni. He served as assistant at 
St. Patrick's Church, and while he fulfilled his duties there, he was 
also Rector of St. Charles Seminary at Eighteenth and Race Streets, 
and Professor of Moral Theology. He was appointed pastor of 
St. Patrick's Church in 1856, and there his name is still held in 

Sunday, 12 July, 1868, was a gala-day at the Cathedral. 
A large congregation of the faithful were present, with one hun- 
dred and forty priests from Philadelphia and other Dioceses in 
the sanctuary, including the Right Rev. S. V. Ryan, C. M., D. D., 
Bishop-elect of Buffalo, New York, and the Very Rev. James A. 
Corcoran, D. D., Vicar General of Charleston, S. C. A grand 
procession of the Christian Brothers, the students of the seminary, 
the clergy of the Dioceses of Philadelphia, Scranton, and Harris- 
burg, and the Right Rev. Bishops, proceeded from the Cathedral 
Chapel, through Logan Square, to the Cathedral, for the impressive 
ceremony of the consecration of the two new Bishops. The Apos- 
tolic Brief appointing Dr. O'Hara Bishop of Scranton was read by 
the Rev. Thomas F. Hopkins, and that appointing Dr. Shanahan 
Bishop of Harrisburg was read by the Very Rev. P. H. Stanton, 
O. S. A. Bishop Wood, the Consecrator, was attended by the 
Very Rev. C. I. H. Carter, as Assistant Priest; the Rev. P. F. 
Sheridan, of St. Paul's, Philadelphia, and Rev. Pierce Maher of 
Harrisburg were the Deacons of Honor. The Rev. P. R. O'Reilly 
of St. John's, and the Rev. John E. Fitzmaurice of St. Agatha's 
were Deacon and Sub-deacon respectively, of the Mass. At the 


consecration of Bishop Shanahan the assistants were the Right Rev. 
John McGill, D. D., Bishop of Richmond, Virginia, and the 
Right Rev. M. Domenec, D. D., of Pittsburg. Bishop Wood's 
Assistant Consecrators of the Bishop of Scranton were the Right 
Rev. William H. Elder, D. D., of Natchez, and the Right Rev. 
P. N. Lynch, D. D., of Charleston, South Carolina. The at- 
tending chaplains of Bishop O'Hara were the Rev. John J. Mc- 
Anany of the Annunciation, and the Rev. James E. Mulholland 
of St. Patrick's. The Chaplains of the Bishop of Harrisburg were 
the Rev. John J. Elcock, and the Rev. Joseph Bridgman. The 
attending chaplains of Bishop Elder were the Rev. M. A. Walsh, 
and the Rev. D. I. McDermott; of Bishop Lynch, the Rev. Denis 
O'Haran and the Rev. P. J. Sullivan; and of Bishop Domenec, 
the Rev. Thomas Fox, and the Rev. Joseph Koch. The sermon 
was preached by the Rev. Michael O'Connor, S. J., former Bishop 
of Pittsburg. 

On the Sunday following Bishop O'Hara sang his first Ponti- 
fical Mass in his old church, and on every succeeding St. Patrick's 
Day until his death on 3 February, 1899, he sang Pontifical Mass 
in the church that was so dear to him, and each year served for 
affectionate interchange with his old parishoners of St. Patrick's. 

On 16 March, 1869, the remains of Bishop Egan from St. 
Mary's Church, and the remains of Bishop Conwell from the 
Bishop's Cemetery, Washington Avenue and Eighth Street, were 
removed to the crypt under the Cathedral altar. Solemn Requiem 
Mass was sung by Bishop Wood; Bishops Shanahan and O'Hara 
were present, and Bishop Lynch of Charleston preached the sermon. 

On 4 April, 1869, Bishop Wood issued a circular letter or- 
dering the clergy to read the call of the Archbishop of Baltimore, 
for the Tenth Provincial Council of Baltimore, and ordering prayers 
to be said each Sunday during the sessions of the Council. The 
Bishop was present 25 April, at the opening of the Council, and on 
the following day he preached. On Sunday, 23 May, Bishop 
Wood celebrated Pontifical Mass in the Cathedral at Baltimore, 
at the closing of the Council. 


One of the acts of the Council was the approval of the estab- 
lishment of an American College at Rome, in which students from 
the United States might reside while attending the lectures of the 
Propaganda. A property in the Via Umilta had been purchased, 
and the American Bishops pledged themselves for its support. The 
project was very dear to the heart of Bishop Wood, himself a 
Roman student, and as a result of the collection taken up in the 
Philadelphia Diocese, the sum of $16,920 was forwarded in May, 
1869, to the American College. 

In June, 1869, Bishop Wood issued a pastoral promulgating 
the Apostolic Letter of Pope Pius IX, in which the Sovereign 
Pontiff announced the calling of an Ecumenical Council in Rome, 
8 December, 1869, and also announcing a Jubilee from 1 June to 
the opening of the Council, and granting a Plenary Indulgence 
to all who, having performed the spiritual exercises, should pray 
for the Council's success, go to confession, and receive Holy Com- 
munion. Bishop Wood in the pastoral ordered the rectors of the 
churches to select a week or triduum, or avail themselves of the 
Forty Hours' Devotion, to facilitate the congregations in making 
the Jubilee, and appointing the churches to be visited as the Ca- 
thedral, St. Mary's, and St. Peter's. In another pastoral, dated 3 
September, 1869, the Bishop ordered a collection to be taken up 
as Peter's Pence, which he would present to the Pope on his pro- 
jected visit to Rome. 

On Tuesday, 5 October, a large meeting of the clergy was held 
in the Cathedral, and Father Carter, who on 19 May had been 
appointed Vicar General, made an address, and presented the 
Bishop with a purse to defray the expenses of his journey to Rome. 

On 19 October the Bishop departed for Europe from Balti- 
more, in company with Archbishop Spalding, and Bishops McGill, 
Domenec, Mullen, Gibbons and O'Gorman, leaving the Diocese 
in charge of Father Carter as Administrator. After landing in 
Bremen, Bishop Wood made a tour of lower Germany, France, and 
Italy, and arrived in Rome 1 December, and was present at the 
opening of the Vatican Council, and voted for the promulgation of 
the Infallibility of the Pope, the dogma defined at the Council. 


While the Pope and his Council, consisting of the Bishops 
from all over the world, were deliberating on the spiritual affairs 
of the Church, the Papal army was suffering reverses, and the Sar- 
dinian standard was being raised over the Papal States. At length 
prudence dictated the interruption of the deliberations of the Coun- 
cil, and early in March the Bishops left Rome, and Bishop Wood, 
accompanied by Bishops O'Gorman, Bayley, and Quinlan, sailed 
for America, 26 March, arriving in New York 4 April. A recep- 
tion was tendered Bishop Wood on Thursday afternoon, 7 April. 
The Rev. James O'Connor, Rector of the Seminary, made the 
address of welcome. In his reply Bishop Wood told of his having 
made to the Pope the offering of the Diocese of 100,000 francs, 
and 2,000 francs in five per cent. Roman Loans, after which he 
imparted the Papal Benediction. 

In December Bishop Wood issued a call for a mass meeting 
to be held in the Cathedral 10 December, to protest against the 
seizure of the Papal territory and the spoliation of the Pope. The 
circular was ordered to be read in all the churches, and the pastors 
were requested to assemble the men of their congregations, and 
march to the Cathedral. On 10 December, the Cathedral was 
filled with a large congregation. A protest was read by the Hon. 
Joseph R. Chandler, and addresses were made by Judge Camp- 
bell, William A. Stokes, Esq., Daniel Dougherty, Esq., the Hon. 
John P. O'Neill, Pierce Archer, Esq., and J. Duross O'Brien, Esq. 

In a pastoral letter, dated the Feast of St. Michael the Arch- 
angel, Bishop Wood announced that on Sunday, 15 October, 
1873, the Feast of St. Teresa, the Diocese would be consecrated 
to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and on that day a long procession 
of clergy passed into the Cathedral, where Bishop O'Hara of 
Scranton celebrated Solemn Pontifical Mass in the presence of 
Bishop Wood, who occupied the throne. There were also present 
Bishop Shanahan of Harrisburg, Bishop Toebbe of Covington, 
Kentucky, and Bishop Verot of St. Augustine, Florida. 

On 7 March, 1874, Bishop Wood wrote an official letter to 
Pope Pius IX, presenting him with $5,000, through the Very Rev. 
S. Chatard, Rector of the American College at Rome. 


Early in 1875 Bishop Wood suffered from a severe illness, 
his old malady of rheumatism having attacked him with renewed 
force. By the advice of his physicians he took a trip to Florida. 
The Rev. Charles I. H. Carter was appointed Administrator of 
the Diocese during the Bishop's absence. 

On 15 March, 1875, in a Papal Brief dated 12 February, 
1875, Pope Pius IX acceded to the request made to him in May, 
1 874, by the Archbishops of the United States, and erected Phila- 
delphia into a Metropolitan See, appointing Bishop Wood the first 
Archbishop. The notification was brought to America by a dele- 
gation sent from the Pope, to notify Archbishop McCloskey of 
New York of his appointment as first American Cardinal. The 
Pope's representative brought the insignia of the Cardinalate to 
New York, and the Papal Briefs and Pallium for Archbishop 
Wood. On the Feast of the Holy Trinity, in a pastoral letter, 
Archbishop Wood announced his Jubilee, prescribing one visit a 
day for fifteen days to the Cathedral, St. John's, the Assumption, 
and St. Peter's. Early in June Bishop Wood returned to Philadel- 
phia, and on Thursday, 1 7 June, in the Cathedral, before the as- 
sembled clergy, the Pallium which had been brought by the Papal 
Ablegate, Monsignor Roncetti, was conferred upon him by Arch- 
bishop Bayley of Baltimore. The Pontifical Mass was sung by 
Bishop Domenec, and Bishop Lynch preached the sermon. 

On 26 April, 1877, Archbishop Wood sailed for Liverpool 
on his way to Rome to assist at the celebration of the fiftieth anni- 
versary of Pope Pius IX's consecration as Bishop. He took with 
him the Peter's Pence offering of the Philadelphia Diocese, in the 
sum of $30,507.34; and on 24 May, Archbishop Wood, at 
the head of the American pilgrimage, was received by the Pope, 
and read an address to him. Having recovered from an attack 
of rheumatism which confined him to his bed in Rome, he made a 
pilgrimage to Loretto and Bologna, and arrived home on Sunday, 
8 July. 

In the beginning of 1878, the whole Catholic world was 
plunged in sorrow by the announcement of the death of Pope 


Pius IX. In 1871 he had celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary 
of his election as Pope, the first Pontiff from the time of St. Peter 
to reign for twenty-five years. At the election of every Pope he 
is reminded that he "must not hope to exceed the years of Peter," 
but Pius IX ruled six years longer than St. Peter. Few Popes 
had passed through such a stormy period. In his long years he 
had seen the triumph of the Papacy in spiritual matters, and it had 
been his splendid privilege to proclaim the dogmas of the Immacu- 
late Conception and Papal Infallibility. But he had seen also 
the rise of the Sardinian usurper, and the triumph of the Garibaldian 
troops. The sacred territory that had been the possession of the 
Popes by the gift of Pepin and the genius of Julius II were wrested 
from the hands of Pius IX, and even the holy city of Rome itself 
he saw given over to the blasphemers, whilst he himself had been 
made prisoner in the Vatican. Archbishop Wood announced the 
sad tidings of the death of the Pontiff in a Pastoral dated 1 8 Feb- 
ruary, 1 878, and ordered Requiem Masses to be said in all churches 
on 21st or 22d February. In the Cathedral the Pontifical Mass 
was sung by Bishop O'Hara of Scranton, 22 February, when 
Bishop Lynch of Charleston preached the sermon. 

On 20 February, 1878, the Conclave of Cardinals elected 
Joachim Cardinal Pecci as Supreme Pontiff, who took the name of 
Leo XIII. By the direction of Archbishop Wood, on Sunday, 
1 March, a solemn Te Deum of Thanksgiving was sung in all the 
churches. The offering for Peter's Pence was taken up on Sunday, 
24 March, and amounted to $21,852.85. 

During the year of 1879 reports had come from Ireland of 
suffering through famine, and the Bishops of America answered 
the appeal by ordering collections to be made. In Philadelphia, 
Archbishop Wood, on the Feast of the Epiphany, 1 880, suggested 
that the collections be made before Lent. The Diocesan Records 
show acknowledgments of Bishops in Ireland to Archbishop Wood 
for sums of money, sent during this year to the various dioceses of the 
famine-stricken, amounting to over $50,000. 

A notable event in the history of the Diocese was the conven- 
ing of the First Provincial Council, which took place on the Feast 


of the Holy Trinity, 23 May, 1 880. The opening ceremonies were 
most impressive. A brilliant assembly of priests and seminarians 
passed in procession from the Archbishop's house, the more than 
forty priests in full Mass vestments of red; the priests of the Re- 
ligious Orders in their respective habits ; at the end of the procession 
were the four Suffragan Bishops, O'Hara of Scranton, Shanahan 
of Harrisburg, Mullen of Erie, and Tuigg of Pittsburg and Alle- 
gheny, attended by their Chaplains; the Deacons of Honor to the 
Archbishop, the Rev. Thomas Kieran of St. Anne's and the Rev. 
M. Filan of the Immaculate Conception; the Assistant Priest, the 
Rev. John J. Elcock of the Cathedral ; the Deacon and Subdeacon 
of the Mass, the Rev. Thomas Shannon and the Rev. J. P. Sin- 
nott; and last of all, Archbishop Wood in full pontificals, accom- 
panied by four seminarians. The Right Rev. J. F. Shanahan of 
Harrisburg preached the sermon, after the Mass. At the conclu- 
sion of the sermon the Provincial Council was opened by the Arch- 
bishop formally taking his place, attended by Fathers Kieran and 
Filan. At the Gospel side of the altar were seated the Secretaries 
of the Council, the Revs. Drs. O'Connor and Horstmann, and the 
Rev. John E. Fitzmaurice. On the Epistle side of the altar were 
stationed the Promoters, Bishop O'Hara of Scranton, the Rev. 
James E. Mulholland of St. Patrick's, and the Very Rev. M. A. 
Walsh, V. G., the Rev. Daniel A. Brennan, Chancellor of the 
Diocese. Seated at the right-hand of the Archbishop were the 
Notaries, the Revs. James Rolando, C. M., George Borneman, 
Thomas A. Casey, Ferdinand Kittell; and the following Theo- 
logians were designated, nominated and elected : the Revs. Nicholas 
Cantwell, Michael F. Martin, Richard O'Connor, Michael Filan, 
John J. Elcock, James Maginn, Edmond Prendergast, P. A. Stan- 
ton, O. S. A., and Thomas Kieran of the Archdiocese of Phila- 
delphia; the Revs. Richard Phelan, Stephen Wall, Ferdinand 
Kittell, and Andrew Hinternach, of the Diocese of Pittsburg; the 
Revs. Thomas Casey, P. J. Sheridan, and H. C. Wienker, of the 
Diocese of Erie; the Revs. Clement Koppernagle, Joseph Koch, 
and Michael McBride, of Harrisburg; the Revs. Peter F. Nagle, 
John Finnen, V. G., and Francis Carew, of Scranton. 


First Bishop of Harrisburg. 

(Formerly Priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.) 


To facilitate the work of the Council, the Theologians were 
divided into four congregations, who took up respectively subjects 
concerning Dogmatic Theology, Morals, Canon Law, Liturgy, 
and the good of the Church, and presiding over each congregation 
was one of the Suffragan Bishops. On the Sunday following, after 
public and private sessions of a week, the Decrees of the Council 
were signed by the Archbishop and Suffragan Bishops, and then 
sent to Rome for the approval of the Pope. 

Archbishop Wood's health had been in a precarious condition, 
and although his wonderful will-power battled against the encroach- 
ing disease, yet from time to time the attacks of rheumatism kept 
him confined to his room, and the Diocesan Records show that 
Bishop O'Hara or Bishop Shanahan or Bishop Quinlan, and other 
visiting prelates fulfilled for him the episcopal duties of Confirmation, 
dedications, etc. His visits to the South during the winter months 
brought temporary relief, but in the year 1881 his sturdy frame 
was so weakened by the recurring attacks that he was almost con- 
tinually prostrated. At the reading of the Report of the Seminary 
Collection in the Chapel, 26 March, the Archbishop was too ill 
to be present, and the Holy Week services of that year, for the 
first time, were performed before an empty throne. 

On Wednesday, 3 May, 1882, the Diocese celebrated the 
Silver Anniversary of the Consecration of Archbishop Wood to 
the episcopacy. Although in feeble health, the prelate was pres- 
ent, and was attended by the Very Rev. M. A. Walsh, V. G., 
pastor of St. Paul's, and the Very Rev. P. A. Stanton, D. D., 
O. S. A., Provincial of the Augustinians, and the Rev. P. R. 
O'Reilly, pastor of St. John's, as deacons of honor. About one 
hundred and fifty priests were present, and delegations of all the 
Religious Orders. The Archbishop on his throne received the 
homage of the clergy in the presence of Right Rev. Bishop Shana- 
han of Harrisburg, Mullen of Erie, Tuigg of Pittsburg and Alle- 
gheny, and the Right Rev. Martin Crane, D. D., O. S. A., Bishop 
of Sandhurst, Australia. Solemn Pontifical Mass was celebrated 
by the Right Rev. William O'Hara, Bishop of Scranton. His 
assistant Priest was the Rev. John J. Elcock of the Cathedral. 


The Rev. John E. Fitzmaurice of St. Agatha's, and the Rev. 
Ignatius F. Horstmann, D. D., were Deacon and Sub-deacon re- 
spectively of the Mass. The Rev. Daniel A. Brennan, Chancellor 
of the Diocese, and the Rev. F. P. O'Neill, pastor of St. James's, 
were Masters of Ceremonies. Bishop Shanahan of Harrisburg 
preached the sermon. His Grace was the recipient of many valu- 
able gifts from individuals, and costly vestments and religious ar- 
ticles from the Religious Orders in the Diocese. In the afternoon 
His Grace and the visiting Bishops, attended by a large number 
of the clergy, proceeded to the Seminary at Overbrook, where 
they were received by the Rev. William Kieran, D. D., who had 
been appointed rector of the Seminary in 1 879. The Rev. M. A. 
Walsh, Vicar General of the Diocese, read an address to the 
Archbishop, presenting him with a cheque for $20,000, the gift 
of the clergy, as a testimonial of their esteem and deep affection. 
A Latin address was also read in the name of the Faculty and 
students. The public celebration closed with a torchlight parade 
of the Total Abstinence Societies of Philadelphia and the vicinity, 
on Saturday night. It was reviewed by the Archbishop from the 
windows of the episcopal residence. 

After this brilliant occasion the Archbishop appeared but 
seldom in public. Even at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the estab- 
lishment of the Seminary, 14 November, 1882, his health did not 
permit him to be present. But, although incapacitated by his 
rheumatism from attending public functions, his keen mind adminis- 
tered the Diocese, and his official letters were issued regularly, full 
of good instruction and direction. And not only the affairs of his 
own Diocese received his attention, but his noble heart went out 
to the whole Christian world. Especially was he anxious con- 
cerning the distressed condition of Ireland. By his directions, early 
in April, 1883, a subscription was opened to relieve the poor in 
Ireland. In June this subscription had reached the sum of $10,- 

During this time the Archbishop's malady had increased, but 
his strong constitution enabled him to rally several times. The 
fatal attack, however, occurred on the 20 June, 1883. The Very 


Rev. M. A. Walsh, V. G., who was presiding at the Commence- 
ment Exercises of Overbrook Seminary, was hastily summoned to 
the Archbishop's bedside, and made Administrator of the Diocese. 
After receiving the Last Sacraments, the aged prelate relapsed into 
a comatose state, and the end came to him at ten minutes after ten 
o'clock that evening, surrounded by the priests of the household 
and his attending physicians. The great bell of the Cathedral at 
once began tolling, announcing the sad tidings to the people. 

For twenty-three years Archbishop Wood had administered 
the Diocese of Philadelphia as Ordinary, although, as a matter 
of fact, in the three years in which he served as Co-adjutor to 
Bishop Neumann, almost all of the temporal concerns of the Diocese 
had been left in his hands by that Venerable Servant of God. The 
years of his administration were filled with work, and the See will 
always bear the impress of his wonderful energy. His early busi- 
ness career enabled him to bring more than ordinary acumen to 
bear on the vexed financial side of his administration as Bishop. 
His prudence and forethought guided him in public questions. 
Content with being a good citizen, he carefully abstained from 
politics, and forbade their discussion in the Church; but in the 
most fearless manner he took an unflinching stand in what to his 
mind threatened the welfare of the Church. No entreaty nor in- 
fluence could win him from the position that his conscience and 
judgment assured him to be the one most fitting his position as 
Shepherd of his flock. His lovable qualities endeared him to all 
with whom he came in contact. His very frequent appearances, 
amongst the faithful people, preaching and pontificating at parochial 
celebrations were the recurring signals for outbursts of respect and 
affection. By his priests he was particularly beloved, and even 
those who differed from him in matters of judgment were forced 
to admire his staunch adherence to principle, and his faithful fol- 
lowing of his sense of justice. His death was felt as a personal 
loss to priests and people. 

With astonishing rapidity the Diocese had increased in popu- 
lation, and step by step the Church kept pace with the march of 
events. Even after the division of the See in 1868, the Diocese 


of Philadelphia still embraced extensive territory. The Arch- 
bishop's faithful journeyings throughout his jurisdiction, until he 
was absolutely compelled by failing health to desist from them, 
were the pastoral visits of a kind father, while the labor involved 
in just this one portion of his manifold burden of cares may be 
estimated from the record which shows the number of this con- 
firmations to have been about 105,000. The following statistics, 
testifying to the increase of the Diocese, speak for themselves: 
After the division of the Diocese in 1868, there were 121 priests 
in the Philadelphia Diocese ; in 1 883 there were 249, while during 
the Archbishop's administration there had been ordained for his 
jurisdiction 225 priests. In 1860 in the territory that afterwards 
was apportioned to the Diocese of Philadelphia, there were 76 
churches and 21 chapels; at the Archbishop's death there were 
127 churches and 55 chapels. There were but 42 parish schools; 
at the Archbishop's death there were 157. At the division of the 
Diocese in 1868 there were eleven Religious Orders of women, 
numbering 491 persons, and at the Archbishop's death there were 
fourteen Religious Orders of women, numbering 965. In 1868 
there were 39 Christian Brothers, in 1883 there were 51. There 
were 7,724 children sheltered in the Orphan Asylum during the 
Archbishop's administration. The two great events of his admin- 
istration were the completion of the Cathedral, and the establish- 
ment of the new Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo. 

On the afternoon of 25 June, the Archbishop's body was laid 
in state in the Cathedral, and a Guard of Honor of the Cathedral 
T. A. B. Society took their station about the casket. All after- 
noon and evening the Cathedral was thronged by sorrowing men 
and women coming to pay their last token of respect to their be- 
loved Archbishop. On Tuesday, 26 June, the funeral service was 
held in the Cathedral. The Office of the Dead was presided 
over by the Right Rev. J. F. Shanahan, D. D., Bishop of Harris- 
burg, attended by the Revs. N. Cantwell and P. R. O'Reilly. The 
Antiphonarians of the Office were the Rev. T. W. Power, assist- 
ant at St. Patrick's, and the Rev. John J. Ward, pastor of St. 
Mark's, Bristol. The Office of the Dead was immediately followed 


by Solemn Requiem Mass, of which Bishop O'Hara of Scranton 
was the celebrant, assisted by the Rev. John J. Elcock, rector of 
the Cathedral, and the Very Rev. William Kieran, D. D., rector 
of the Seminary as Deacon, and the Rev. Ignatius F. Horstmann, 
D. D., rector of St. Mary's as Sub-deacon. The Mass was sung 
by a choir of priests and seminarians. The sermon was preached 
by Archbishop Gibbons of Baltimore. After the sermon the Solemn 
Quintuple Absolution of the body that distinguishes the funeral 
of a bishop from that of a priest, was given by Archbishop Gibbons, 
Bishop Shanahan, Bishop Elder, Co-adjutor Bishop of Cincinnati, 
Bishop Corrigan, Co-adjutor of New York, and Archbishop Will- 
iams of Boston. The solemn procession then formed, carrying the 
body of the Archbishop, which was placed in the crypt under 
the altar. After the division of the Diocese in 1848 the following 
parishes were established: 

St. Gbarleg Even after the division of the See in 1868, by the 
:©orromeo>0 formation of the Sees of Harrisburg and Scranton, 
Cburcb 1868 tne Philadelphia Diocese yet covered a very exten- 
sive territory. The city itself was constantly in- 
creasing in population, and Archbishop Wood continued the founda- 
tion of new parishes to accommodate the trend of the population. 
The parish of St. Patrick's included all the district south of 
the church along the Schuylkill River, though the southern part of 
this territory consisted principally of brick-yards. The business mind 
of Archbishop Wood, however, foresaw the natural growth of 
the city toward the south and along the river, and on 1 1 January, 
1 866, he purchased from Isaiah V. Williamson, the Philanthropist, 
for $49,000, a lot measuring 1 30 feet on Twentieth Street and 1 50 
on Christian Street, as a site for a church to be built in the future. 
Two years afterward Archbishop Wood decided that the time 
had come for the erection of a parish in this locality, and accordingly 
a meeting of the members of St. Patrick's parish was held on Sun- 
day evening, 26 January, 1868, to discuss the formation of the 
new parish. The Very Rev. William O'Hara, D. D., V. G., 
presided. The sum of $6,000 was subscribed at this meeting. With 


such a propitious beginning, on the 4th of July, 1868, the Rev. 
James O'Reilly, then assistant at the Cathedral, was appointed pas- 
tor of the new parish, named under the patronage of St. Charles 
Borromeo. Father O'Reilly began at once the erection of a church. 
On Sunday, 19 July, the corner-stone was blessed by Bishop 
O'Hara of Scranton, assisted by Bishop Shanahan of Harrisburg, 
both of whom had been consecrated on the previous Sunday. The 
sermon was preached by the Rev. C. I. H. Carter, V. G. The 
severity of the winter interrupted the work on the church, but it 
was resumed in the following spring. As a magnificent church had 
been planned, and the work threatened to be protracted, Father 
O'Reilly in May, 1 869, obtained permission from the City Councils 
to erect a frame-chapel. So eager were the pastor and parishioners 
for a place of worship, that, while the work on the chapel was 
begun on Monday morning, the following Sunday found it ready 
for service. On 20 June, Archbishop Wood blessed the altar. The 
Solemn High Mass on the occasion was sung by the Rev. Francis 
P. O'Neill of the Cathedral, assisted by the Rev. James E. Mul- 
holland, the Rev. John J. Elcock, and the Rev. A. J. McConomy. 
Bishop Shanahan was present, and Bishop Wood himself preached 
the sermon. Father O'Reilly resided at St. Patrick's after his ap- 
pointment, but in July, 1869, the house at the south-east corner of 
Twentieth and Christian Streets was secured as a temporary paro- 
chial residence. The people of the parish, inspired by the energy 
of the pastor, labored zealously to build the church. Concerts, 
musicales, annual excursions to Atlantic City, and lectures by such 
noted orators as Father Burke, the famous Dominican, and Father 
Damien, the scarcely less famous Jesuit, brought the needed money 
for the work, while the fair given in Concert Hall for one week 
netted $8,000. The basement of the church was dedicated for 
divine service on 1 4 January, 1 872, by Bishop Wood. The frame- 
chapel was abandoned, and on its site was begun the erection of 
the present rectory. On Sunday, 3 November, 1872, the exterior 
work of the superstructure of the church was almost completed and 
the cross was blessed and placed in position on the front of the 
building by Bishop Wood, the sermon being preached by the Rev. 
Dr. Horstmann. 


Cburcb of ^ e J esu ^ Fathers in Philadelphia, from the very 

tbe <5esu earliest days had administered to the faithful at St. 

jg^g Joseph's Church, the first Catholic church erected 

in Philadelphia, at Fourth and Walnut Streets. 
This district in the growth of the city passed through many phases; 
from being the fashionable residential portion it became the heart 
of the city's mercantile enterprise, and later on the centre of its 
financial interests. There was need for the Jesuit Fathers to remove 
to a more populous residential section where, in a larger building, 
the functions of the Church could be carried out by the Fathers 
of the Society. It was out of the question to abandon St. Joseph's, 
so sacred in memories historical and spiritual, and therefore, with 
the consent of the Archbishop, the Jesuits selected the tract of 
ground between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets, from Stiles to 
Thompson, measuring 400 x 260 feet, whereon they planned to 
erect a splendid church, and a house for the Fathers. It was de- 
signed to rehabilitate there St. Joseph's College, which had fallen 
into desuetude through lack of scholars, and especially because of 
the uncongenial environment of its original situation at Fourth and 
Walnut Streets. The Rev. Burchard Villiger, S. J., in 1868, 
erected a temporary church and. pastoral residence at the north- 
west corner of Seventeenth and Stiles Streets. It was dedicated 
under the title of St. Joseph's, on Sunday, 5 December, 1868, by 
Bishop Wood, the pastor, Father Villiger preaching the sermon. 
In the years that followed the title of the Church was changed to 
that of the Holy Family. Father Villiger and his assistants labored 
hard to raise funds to pay for the ground that had been purchased, 
and to push forward the project of making the new foundation of 
the Jesuits in Philadelphia worthy of the Society. In 1879 affairs 
had so shaped themselves that Father Villiger saw his way to begin 
the building of the great church. On foundations sixteen feet thick, 
the building was begun, measuring 122 feet wide and 240 feet 
long, the corner-stone of which was blessed 5 October, 1879, by 
Archbishop Wood. About 15,000 persons assembled for the cere- 
mony, at which Bishop O'Connor of Omaha preached the sermon. 
On this date the name of the parish was changed to that of the 


Gesu, as the church architecturally was a copy of the great Jesuit 
church of that name in Rome. More than nine years were spent 
in completing the building, which was a new type amongst the 
Philadelphia churches. In its Roman basilica style, exteriorly and 
interiorly, it is most impressive. The wide entrances, with double 
rows of Doric and Corinthian columns, numbering sixteen ; enormous 
high windowless walls, the light falling from the top of the build- 
ing, make a striking contrast to the beautiful interior, with its 
clear span of 76 feet in the nave, the widest in America. The 
eight side-chapels, the imposing transept, the wonderfully beautiful 
high altar, form a substantial memorial of the traditions of the 
Jesuit Fathers in Philadelphia. 

immaculate "^ ie P°P U 1° US district of St. Michael's parish, from 
Conception which so many parishes had been formed, provided 

Gburcb 1869 m ' ^69 from its southern portion still another church. 
The Rev. Michael Filan, in July, 1869, was ap- 
pointed to take charge, and form a parish from a part of St. Augus- 
tine's and St. Michael's. Father Filan's first work was to build 
a temporary chapel of brick 48 feet by 95 feet, on the western part 
of a lot at Front and Canal Streets, which could later be used as 
part of a school, as in fact it is. On 1 October, the little chapel, 
accommodating 600, was dedicated by Bishop Wood. The Rev. 
Thomas Toner preached the sermon. Father Filan had built other 
churches, and his long years as a missionary in Hazelton had given 
him experimental knowledge which he brought into play in sur- 
mounting the difficulties attending the building of a permanent 
church. The property which was purchased for the site had been 
a swamp, and through its northern end a creek had formerly flowed 
toward the Delaware. The problem of erecting a substantial build- 
ing was solved by sinking piles at one end of the lot. The founda- 
tion was begun 1 1 September, 1 870. Bishop Wood blessed the 
corner-stone, and the work of erecting a graceful brick structure 
was proceeded with. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 
8 December, 1872, the church was dedicated under that title by 


First Bishop of Scranton. 

(Formerly Priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.) 


Bishop Wood. Father Filan, who had resided in a rented house, 
built a rectory on Front Street adjoining the church. The old chapel 
was enlarged in length and height, and converted into a school, at 
the southern end of which a convent was provided. On 29 August, 
1880, these improvements were completed, and in the same year 
Father Filan celebrated the silver jubilee of his ordination. In 
June of the following year he was transferred to the rectorship of 
the Annunciation, and was succeeded by the Rev. P. J. Dailey, who 
had been assistant at the Annunciation. 

, In the early 'sixties Bustleton was inhabited by a 

JB. ID. flb.t small population, and a mission was established there 

JBustleton, by the priests of St. Joachim's, Frankford. An 

1870 industrial revival increased the population, and 

Bishop Wood arranged to form a separate parish, a site having 
been donated by J. B. Williams, Esq. Work was begun, and on 
2 October, 1870, Bishop Wood blessed the corner-stone, and on 
1 1 December of the same year the building was completed, a stone 
structure, 46 feet by 70 feet. It was dedicated under the title of 
the Maternity of the B. V. M., by the Rev. John McGovern. On 
22 January, 1871, the Rev. John B. Kelly, who had been an as- 
sistant at Frankford, was appointed first resident pastor, but on 16 
May he succumbed to tuberculosis of the lungs. After his death, 
the Rev. John H. Loughran was appointed pastor, the priests of 
Frankford in the meantime having attended Bustleton as a mis- 
sion. A year later the Rev. Hugh Garvey was appointed pas- 
tor, and after two years the Rev. James A. Brehony was put in 
charge, and continued until 1876, when the Rev. M. P. O'Brien 
became pastor, to be succeeded in 1 879 by the Rev. D. S. Bowes. 
The industrial activity had declined; the factories were abandoned; 
and in 1881, the church at Bustleton was again made a mission of 
Frankford, until the Rev. Arthur P. Haviland was appointed pastor 
in 1882. 


SacreD Deart ^he soutnern P art of Philadelphia had been the 
Gburcb scene of great building operations from the consoli- 

l 87l dation of the city in 1854, and in 1871 the district 

to the south of St. Philip's parish was apportioned 
into a new parish by Bishop Wood, and the Rev. Thomas Hop- 
kins appointed pastor. A tract of ground on the west side of Third 
Street below Reed Street was purchased, and work was begun on 
the erection of a church, the corner-stone of which was blessed on 
the Feast of Pentecost, 19 May, 1872, by Bishop Wood. The 
Very Rev. Dr. Moriarity, O. S. A., preached the sermon. In 
1874 the building was almost completed, when the Rev. Thomas 
Quinn was appointed pastor. After two years, on 24 November, 
1874, the Rev. James J. Fitzmaurice, who had been pastor of 
St. Agnes's, West Chester, was put in charge of the parish. He 
built a pastoral residence and completed the church, which was 
dedicated on 30 September, 1877, under the title of the Sacred 
Heart. Father Fitzmaurice continued the work on the church, a 
stone structure in Gothic style, 1 26 feet by 70 feet, surmounted by a 
graceful spire 1 80 feet high. 

st The north-western section of Philadelphia toward 

J6lt3abetb'e ^ e Schuylkill River was a section of the city most 
Cburcb, 1872 backward in improvements at that time. The dis- 
trict was an open waste, filled with ponds and aban- 
doned clay-pits. There were but one or two streets in the whole 
district, along Ridge Avenue, which formed a thoroughfare from 
the Falls of Schuylkill and Manayunk. Joseph Singerly owned 
most of the land in this vicinity, and, as he was anxious for the 
improvement of the unpromising neighborhood, he offered a suitable 
lot as a gift to any denomination that would erect a church within 
a year. Nearly every denomination of the city was asked, and 
refused, but Bishop Wood, with his proverbial foresight, knew that 
the building of a Catholic church would be a nucleus for a settle- 
ment, and therefore gladly accepted Mr. Singerly's gift. In July, 
1872, the Rev. Bernard Dornhege, the present rector, who was 
then pastor of a German congregation at St. Clair, Schuylkill 

XXXI. ST. ELIZABETH'S, 1872 401 

County, was appointed to organize the new parish. Not a single 
street was opened in the vicinity of the lot, which is now and was 
then on the city's plan, called Twenty-third and Berks Streets. But 
Father Dornhege, with a zeal that has characterized all his devoted 
years, dauntlessly undertook what seemed to be a fruitless mission. 
He at once began the erection of a small chapel, and the corner- 
stone was blessed, 22 September, 1 872. Three months afterwards 
the little chapel was dedicated under the title of St. Elizabeth's. 
On the Christmas day following six persons attended the late Mass, 
and at the afternoon service the congregation was composed of 
three, although this attendance can be scarcely taken as an estimate 
of the congregation, which, while indeed small, was of sufficient 
number to warrant Father Domhege's opening a parish school, 
January, 1873, in the third story of the building, of which the 
first and second stones formed the chapel. Lay teachers were em- 
ployed for the first year. In January, 1875, the Sisters of St. Fran- 
cis took charge. In 1878 the present pastoral residence was built 
and taken possession of, and in the following year the rapidly- 
increasing population made necessary additional provisions for the 
education of the children, and a fourth story was added to the 
building, and also an annex at the rear, to be used as a residence 
for the Sisters, who had lived in the school building. 

In the meantime the event had justified Archbishop Wood's 
hope, and had rewarded Father Dornhege's undertaking of what 
seemed to be so unpromising. In no other section of the city did 
improvement go on more rapidly. Blocks of houses of a superior 
class were forthwith erected, and soon the abandoned brick-yards 
and truck-patches gave place to graded streets, lined with long rows 
of comfortable homes. From the north wall of Girard College up 
almost to the Falls of Schuylkill, and from Broad Street to the 
River, stretched the great district embraced by St. Elizabeth's 
parish. Father Dornhege realized that the small chapel building 
and the school provisions were not adequate for the increased num- 
ber of people living in his parish, to say nothing of the future pros- 
pects of the place. He therefore resolved to begin the erection of 
a magnificent church on the lot which had been donated by Joseph 


Singerly, at the south-east corner of Twenty-third and Berks Streets, 
and which measured 74 feet on Twenty-third Street, and 1 75 feet 
on Berks Street. The cellar and foundations were done by volun- 
teer workers, and on 27 May, 1883, the corner-stone was blessed in 
the presence of a large concourse of people, by Bishop Shanahan of 
Harrisburg; the Rev. Michael Filan of the Annunciation acted 
as Deacon, and the Rev. E. O. Hilterman of Holy Trinity, as 
Sub-deacon; the Rev. Father Villiger, S. J., preached the sermon. 
The work of completing the basement, which was to seat about 
800 persons, and rendering it suitable for divine service, was con- 
tinued, and on the Sunday before Christmas, 23 December, 1883, 
it was dedicated to divine service by the Very Rev. M. A. Walsh, 
LL. D., Administrator of the Diocese, assisted by the Rev. Peter 
Crane, O. S. A., of St. Augustine's, and the Rev. P. Burns, C. M., 
of St. Vincent's, Germantown, as Deacons of Honor. Following 
the service of dedication Solemn High Mass was sung by the Rev. 
E. F. Prendergast, Rector of St. Malachy's, with the Rev. Burch- 
ard Villiger, S. J., Rector of the Gesu, as Deacon, and the Rev. 
Hubert Schick of St. Alphonsus's, as Sub-deacon. The sermon 
was preached by the Rev. F. X. McGowan, O. S. A. The Master 
of Ceremonies was the Rev. J. F. Lynch, assistant at St. Eliza- 

©ur XaDp ot ^ n 22 September of the same year that saw the 
tbe Hesitation founding of St. Elizabeth's Church, the Rev. 
Gburcb 1872 Thomas W. Power, who had been pastor of St. 
Dominic's, Holmesburg, was appointed to organize 
a new parish in the district of Kensington, out of portions of St. 
Edward's, St. Michael's and St. Anne's parishes. The pastor of 
St. Anne's, the Rev. Thomas Kieran, had selected a site for the 
church on Rose Hill, at Cambria and C Streets, and here Father 
Power erected a frame-chapel 40 feet by 90 feet, capable of seat- 
ing about 350 persons. It was dedicated under the title of St. 
Cecilia, on Christmas Day of the same year. In 1874 Father 
Power was succeeded by the Rev. P. J. Garvey, D. D., who after 
a stay of five weeks was succeeded by the Rev. A. D. Filan. Dur- 


ing the following year, 1875, the Rev. Thomas J. Barry, who had 
been assistant at the Annunciation, was placed in charge of the 
parish. Father Barry was gifted with more than usual administra- 
tive ability, and with almost superhuman energy. His first decision 
after his appointment was that a new and better site for the church 
should be secured, and accordingly the present church property, at 
Lehigh Avenue and Leamy (now B Street), was purchased for 
$16,000, by Archbishop Wood. In the summer of 1876 the work 
of preparing for the foundations was begun, and Father Barry 
with his parishoners worked day and night in digging the cellars. 
On 22 September, 1876, the fourth anniversary of the founding 
of the parish, the corner-stone of the new church was blessed by 
the Archbishop. The sermon on the occasion was preached by the 
Rev. Dr. Horstmann. On the first Sunday of the following De- 
cember the basement was opened for divine service, and dedicated 
by Father Cantwell ; the Rev. John J. Ward preached the sermon. 
The name of the parish was now changed, and the new church was 
placed under the patronage of Our Lady of the Visitation. Be- 
fore 1878 the present handsome pastoral residence on B Street 
was built, and in that year Father Barry began the work of building 
the church. A cyclone blew down most of the completed work at 
the point where the roof was being put on, but Father Barry, unde- 
terred, had the damage repaired, and the work was continued. 
After four years, on the first Sunday in October, 1 880, the church 
was dedicated by Bishop O'Hara of Scranton. The Very Rev. 
M. A. Walsh, V. G., was the Assistant Priest, and the Rev. M. A. 
Mullen of St. Malachy's and the Rev. F. J. Quinn of St. Anne's 
were Deacon and Sub-deacon respectively of the Dedication; 
Bishop O'Hara sang the Solemn Mass, and was assisted by the 
Very Rev. M. A. Walsh, V. G. The Rev. Dr. Horstmann was 
Deacon, and the Rev. Father Prendergast was Sub-deacon of the 
Mass. Bishop Shanahan of Harrisburg preached the sermon. Less 
than a year later a parish school was opened in the old chapel, 
and in 1882 a new school-building on Lehigh Avenue was begun, 
and was completed in the following year. 


The beginning of St. Veronica's parish dates back 
^ . , to the year 1 872, when, on 2 June, the corner-stone 

Cburcb 1879 °^ ^ e f rame " cna P e l at Second and Butler Streets, 
close to the entrance of the New Cathedral Ceme- 
tery, was blessed, and the building dedicated to divine worship on 
22 September. For seven years the church was attended as a 
mission by the priests of St. Stephen's, and in 1879 the Rev. Will- 
iam A. McLoughlin labored in the new parish, and on the latter' s 
transfer to St. Stephen's, the Rev. William A. Power was appointed 

©ur TLa&Y) of ^ s 9 u * te a l ar S e contingent of the German parish- 
tbe "Wativitv i° ners °f St. Bonifacius's lived in Richmond, the 
Cburcb 1882 Redemptorist Fathers of that church decided to open 
a mission for the convenience of those who were so 
far from the parish church. Early in the year 1882 ground was 
purchased at the north-west corner of Allegheny Avenue and Bel- 
grade Street, measuring 1 35 feet front and 347 feet in depth. The 
Fathers at once began the erection of a brick building facing on 
Belgrade Street, 50 feet by 1 40 feet, of two stories, the upper por- 
tion to be used as a chapel, and the first story as a school, while 
the north-western end was to serve as a residence for the Sisters of 
Christian Charity, the teachers of the school. On 1 9 March, 1 882, 
the corner-stone was blessed by Bishop Shanahan, attended by the 
Very Rev. M. A. Walsh, V. G., and the Rev. M. Filan, pastor 
of the Annunciation. The Rev. Father Wirth, C. SS. R., Rector 
of St. Peter's, preached the sermon. On 20 August following, the 
building was finished, and was dedicated by Bishop Shanahan 
under the title of Our Lady of the Nativity. Solemn High Mass 
was sung by the Rev. F. X. Schnuetgen, C. SS. R., pastor of St. 
Bonifacius's, assisted by the Rev. Sebastian Briehof, C. SS. R, as 
Deacon, and the Rev. William Hilger as Sub-deacon. The sermon 
was preached by Bishop Gross of Savannah. 

Administration of Most Rev. Patrick John Ryan, D. D., 
LL.D., Sixth Bishop and Second Archbishop of 
Philadelphia.— His Early Life.— Appointed to the 
See of Philadelphia. — Receptions of Welcome. — 
Invested with Pallium. — Diocesan Synod. — The 
Archbishop's Work for the Indians. — Establish- 
ment of the Protectory for Homeless Boys. 

IATRICK JOHN RYAN, sixth Bishop and sec- 
ond Archbishop of Philadelphia, was born at 
Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland, 20 Febru- 
ary, 1831. He was educated by the Christian 
Brothers, and in the private school of Mr. Norton 
of Dublin. He entered the Seminary of Carlow 
in 1847, to prepare for the priesthood, as he had been adopted 
for the St. Louis Diocese by Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick. 
He finished his course of philosophy and theology in 1852, but 
as he was too young to be ordained priest, the canonical age being 
twenty-five, he received deacon's Orders, and departed for St. 
Louis. Archbishop Kenrick appointed the young man one of the 
faculty of the Seminary, and gave him permission to preach on 
Sundays in the Cathedral, for although only in his twenty-second 
year the Rev. Patrick John Ryan had already acquired a well- 
deserved reputation as an orator. On 8 September, 1853, having 
attained the age when by dispensation he could be ordained, he 
was raised to the priesthood by Archbishop Kenrick. Until 1861 
he served as assistant at the Cathedral, and in that year was ap- 
pointed to build the Church of the Annunciation. In 1 866 Father 
Ryan, then rector of St. John's Church, attended the Second 
Plenary Council of Baltimore with Archbishop Kenrick, and de- 
livered an address before the Council on "The Sanctity of the 
Church." In 1868, having made a tour of Europe with Archbishop 


Kenrick, he was invited by Pope Pius IX to deliver in Rome a 
course of Lenten sermons in English. On his return home he gave 
public lectures that attracted universal attention, and when, shortly 
afterwards, 8 November, 1868, he preached the sermon at the 
Consecration of the Right Rev. Stephen Vincent Ryan, Father 
Ryan took the place he has held ever since as the foremost pulpit 
orator of America. 

When Archbishop Kenrick's declining health made necessary 
the selection of a Co-adjutor Bishop, the unanimous choice of the 
priests of the Diocese and the Bishops of the Province fell on the 
priest who, as Vicar General of the See and Administrator during 
the absence of the Archbishop at the Vatican Council, had become 
familiar with the episcopal duties, and had given testimony of his 
equipment for the responsibilities entailed. Therefore Patrick John 
Ryan was appointed to assist his old friend and patron in the burden 
of the episcopate, and on 14 April, 1872, he was consecrated 
Bishop of Tricomia and Co-adjutor Bishop of St. Louis, with the 
right of succession. For twelve years the young Bishop sustained 
the venerable Archbishop of St. Louis. From end to end of the 
Diocese he traveled, performing his episcopal duties, dedicating 
churches, blessing corner-stones, and administering the Sacraments 
of Confirmation and Holy Orders, and always these functions were 
attended by crowds attracted by the fame of Bishop Ryan. Not 
only did the young prelate perform his arduous duties as Bishop, 
but he gave also innumerable lectures and sermons in St. Louis 
and other parts of the country. The celebration of any event 
was a signal of invitation to Bishop Ryan to deliver the discourse. 
In 1883 he visited Rome to take part in a meeting of American 
Bishops, and on his journey through Ireland he preached on sev- 
eral occasions. So much interest had Bishop Ryan aroused in 
Rome by his sermons, and so widely known was his great power, 
that on 6 January, 1 884, the Pope further honored him by appoint- 
ing him Archbishop of Salamis. 

Archbishop Wood's death in 1 883 made a void in the Ameri- 
can hierarchy extremely difficult to fill. The prestige attained 
by the Diocese of Philadelphia under Kenrick, Neumann, and 


Bishop of Cleveland. 

(Formerly Priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.) 


Wood, and the increase of population which had made this See 
the second largest of the dioceses of the country, made necessary 
the choice of a representative churchman who would unite sanctity 
with executive ability, and who would honor Philadelphia, as 
Philadelphia honored him. The one who possessed these qualities 
was the eloquent Co-adjutor Archbishop of St. Louis, and accord- 
ingly he was named to the Pope by the Archbishops of the country 
for the See of Philadelphia. Archbishop Ryan was well known 
to the Holy Father, and early in July the Bulls arrived from 
Rome appointing him as head of the Church in Philadelphia. 

The news that meant so much for Philadelphia was received 
with much rejoicing by Catholics throughout the country. The 
city of St. Louis, however, Catholic and non-Catholic, while appre- 
ciating the honor to their beloved Archbishop Ryan, testified publicly 
to their sorrow at his leaving by a series of farewell receptions. 
Dr. Kieran, rector of the Seminary, the Rev. D. A. Brennan, 
Chancellor, and the Rev. John J. Elcock, rector of the Cathedral, 
went to St. Louis to induct the Archbishop to Philadelphia. Ac- 
companied by these and a delegation of St. Louis priests, Arch- 
bishop Ryan began his journey to Philadelphia, 1 8 August, 1 884. 
On his arrival the next evening the Archbishop was greeted by 
thronging crowds at the station and, surrounded by these, he pro- 
ceeded to the Archbishop's house. 

On Wednesday, 20 August, 1884, Patrick John Ryan was 
formally installed as Archbishop of Philadelphia in the presence 
of Archbishop Gibbons, and Bishops Becker of Wilmington and 
O'Connor of Omaha. The Solemn Mass was sung by Bishop 
O'Hara, assisted by the Rev. John J. Elcock and the Rev. Drs. 
Kieran and Horstmann, deacon and sub-deacon. The Archbishop's 
deacons of honor were the two oldest priests in the Diocese, the 
Revs. Nicholas Cantwell and P. R. O'Reilly. Bishop Shanahan 
delivered the sermon. All the priests present, over two hundred 
and fifty in number, having made their obedience to their new 
superior, he expressed his appreciation of the magnificent reception 
accorded him, in an eloquent address. 


His first official act was the promulgation of the command 
of the Pope expressed in the Encyclical of 30 August, ordering 
the October devotions. On 7 September, 1884, he preached his 
first sermon in the Cathedral on "Undivided Allegiance to God," 
and on the following Sunday he appeared for the first time at a 
public function here, when he blessed the corner-stone of St. Vin- 
cent's parochial building, Germantown. 

Early in November the Archbishop went to Baltimore to 
take part in the Third Plenary Council, which began 9 November, 
1884. He was accompanied by Father Brennan, the chancellor, 
and preached the inaugural sermon of the Council, the subject 
being "The Councils of the Church." 

During these first months the Archbishop familiarized himself 
with the modus operandi of his great Diocese, and by visits to the 
diocesan institutions and churches of the city, he put himself in 
personal touch with the clergy and laity of his charge. 

In the beginning of 1 885 the Pallium which had been delivered 
to the Rev. A. J. Schulte, then in charge of the North American 
College in Rome, was brought to this city by the Rev. C. M. 
O'Keefe, of Wappinger's Falls, New York. On 4 January the 
solemn investiture took place in the Cathedral. Cardinal (then 
Archbishop) Gibbons conferred this symbol of jurisdiction, and 
to him Archbishop Ryan made his oath of obedience to the Holy 
See and protestation of fidelity to his high office. The Mass was 
sung by Bishop O'Hara, with the Rev. Father Mulholland as 
Assistant Priest, and the Rev. Drs. Horstmann and Kieran as 
deacon and sub-deacon. Archbishop Corrigan of New York 
preached the sermon. 

The first official act of the Archbishop after receiving the 
Pallium was the ordaining to the priesthood, 11 January, 1885, 
of the Revs. B. A. Conway, Francis Brady, Hugh Dugan, Denis 
Broughal, James Mullen, Matthew Hand, and James P. Turner, 
the present Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese, and 
Protonotary Apostolic of the Holy See. 

On 4 November, 1886, a Diocesan Synod was convened in 
the Chapel of the Seminary at Overbrook. The Archbishop 


presided, assisted by the following officers of the Synod : Promoter, 
the Very Rev. Maurice A. Walsh, V. G. ; Promoter of the Clergy, 
the Very Rev. Nicholas Cantwell, V. G.; Secretary, the Right 
Rev. Mgr. Corcoran, D. D.; Assistant Secretary, the Rev. Ign. 
F. Horstmann, D. D. The decrees of the Third Plenary Council 
of Baltimore were promulgated, and the new forms of legislation 
prescribed by the Council were applied to the organization of the 
Church in the Philadelphia Diocese. One of these new regulations 
was the establishment of Permanent Rectorships whose occupants 
would have the right to vote for the successor to the See. It was 
also provided that any vacancy in these rectorships was to be 
supplied by competitive examination. The ratio of these rector- 
ships to the population of the Diocese called for the establishment 
of ten in the city and two in the country districts. The Synod, 
therefore, selected for distinction as permanent rectorships the par- 
ishes of St. Paul, St. Alphonsus, St. Patrick, the Assumption, St. 
Michael, St. Philip, The Annunciation, St. John, St. Malachy, 
and St. James in the city, and St. Patrick, Pottsville, and St. Paul, 
Reading. Since 1886 Archbishop Ryan has kept the proportion 
of permanent rectorships by adding to the list the parishes of St. 
Charles, St. Elizabeth, Our Mother of Sorrows, St. Teresa, and 
St. Anne. 

The decisions and decrees of the Diocesan Synod were pro- 
mulgated at the Clerical Quarterly Conference in January, 1887. 

Archbishop Ryan, with the other members of the American 
hierarchy, recognizing that the spirit of the age is one of education, 
has from the beginning of his administration insisted that the hope 
and welfare of the Church in this country lie in the right training 
of her young members. Therefore, he has continued to urge the 
erection of parish schools with such success that no diocese in the 
country is so well equipped in this regard. Each parish within 
the city limits has its parish school, excepting those parishes that 
have been founded within recent months, and in the rural districts 
few indeed are the parishes where the children have not the oppor- 
tunity of receiving their early education in a distinctly Catholic 
atmosphere. So strictly has Archbishop Ryan enforced this nee- 


essary regulation that, when a new parish is organized, provision 
must first be made for a school, and then the church may be built. 
Churches reared to God's honor belie their end if the children are 
not provided with facilities for a religious education. On the other 
hand, where the children are trained in the Catholic atmosphere by 
religious teachers, the parish is well-founded, and there need be 
no doubt of the erection of a suitable church in due time. The 
parishes established in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia during the 
Archbishop's administration have been an object-lesson of his solici- 
tude for the lambs of his flock, the hope of the Church, in the unique 
school buildings erected to combine class-rooms and church under 
one roof. 

Not only in the executive branch of his office did Archbishop 
Ryan work wonders. His predecessor's delicate health had pre- 
vented him from taking part for many years in the affairs of the 
City's life. Archbishop Ryan at once took his place as the head 
of one-third of the population of Philadelphia, and became a potent 
factor in public questions. The people are quick to recognize worth 
and to value it. Archbishop Ryan's sermons at the Cathedral and 
on public occasions drew audiences whom he charmed. His person- 
ality attracted friends to whom he endeared himself. Again and 
again the people of Philadelphia have attested their respect and 
esteem for the Catholic Archbishop. His triumphs in the West 
have been repeated and multiplied, and to-day no public act is 
complete without Archbishop Ryan's assistance; no municipal 
movement for the public weal is undertaken without his counsel. 

The University of Pennsylvania in 1886 conferred on Arch- 
bishop Ryan the degree of LL. D., an honor which he had previ- 
ously received from the University of Missouri. When Philadel- 
phia in her charity sent a ship laden with supplies to the famine- 
stricken in Russia, Archbishop Ryan blessed the vessel and its con- 
tents. When the National Convention of the Republican party 
that nominated McKinley and Roosevelt in 1900, was held in 
Philadelphia Archbishop Ryan was invited to ask God's blessing 
on the Convention. So commanding was his presence, so impres- 
sive his manner, so solemn his words, that what is usually regarded 


as a mere perfunctory performance was made a solemn act of adora- 
tion to the Deity. The great assembly listened with rapt attention, 
motionless and silent, to the Archbishop's voice, filled with feeling, 
begging God to enlighten the minds of these men that they might 
act for the best interests of the nation. 

If one should single out for special mention the virtues of 
Archbishop Ryan he might be said to be remarkable for his tender 
regard for the poor and homeless. The two monuments that will 
mark his memory are his practical work for the Indians and 
Negroes, and the erection of the Protectory for Homeless Boys. 
On 12 February, 1891, Mother Katharine Drexel formed a new 
congregation of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for the especial 
care of the Indians and Negroes, and the Archbishop has been 
from its inception the particular patron and guide of the work. 
Before the Senate of the United States he has more than once 
pleaded the cause of the Indians, and so well-known is the fact 
of his solicitude for the Red Men, that President Roosevelt ap- 
pointed him one of the Board of Indian Commissioners. 

The magnificently equipped and intelligently conducted insti- 
tutions for the care of the orphans of the Diocese have provided 
homes for these little ones. St. Francis De Sales Industrial Home 
at Eddington, founded by the Drexel family, and planned after the 
model of a similar institution in Beauvais, France, accommodates 
two hundred boys, who are trained in practical industries. This 
institution was dedicated 14 November, 1886, by the Archbishop. 
St. Joseph's Home, under the care of the Fathers of the Holy 
Ghost, on Pine Street, provides accommodations for working-boys. 
There is another class of homeless boys, however, for whom no 
provision had been made, the waifs of the great city, boys full of 
possibilities for good or evil in their after-lives, according to the 
bent given them in their formative years. The Archbishop's kind 
heart felt the need for an institution that would be a real home for 
such boys, and on 29 April, 1895, he called a meeting of the 
laymen of the Diocese, and outlined to these gentlemen this neces- 
sary work — a Protectory for Homeless Boys. So well did he plead 
the cause of these children, and the need of such an institution, 


that there was subscribed at the meeting $70,000. The work thus 
auspiciously started was perfected by the Archbishop in a pastoral 
letter, making known generally the needs and purposes of the Pro- 
tectory. Fathers Currie, Crane, Quinn, Broughal, Nevin, and 
Hammeke were appointed to visit each parish in the Diocese, ex- 
plain the great work contemplated, and receive the contributions 
of the faithful. On 19 November, 1895, a tract of land of 184 
acres 52 perches, in Montgomery County, north of Norristown, 
was purchased from G. W. Moore for $25,000. In this beautiful 
country, rich with historic memories, most picturesquely situated, 
the great work was begun. The corner-stone was blessed by the 
Archbishop 21 June, 1896, and he solemnly dedicated the build- 
ing, 8 May, 1898. More than 3000 people, including a large 
number of the clergy, assembled at the new Protectory Station, 
where a procession was formed, headed by Mr. Hugh McCaffrey, 
Chairman of the Lay Committee, and these, with the priests, under 
the direction of the Rev. John F. McQuade, Master of Ceremonies, 
proceeded from the station to the building that loomed up in the 
near distance. Bishop Prendergast, President of the Advisory 
Board, made an address, and Archbishop Ryan, accompanied by 
his clergy, read the beautiful dedicatory prayers of the Ritual, 
after which Mgr. Loughlin, Chancellor of the Diocese, preached 
an appropriate sermon. 

When the interior fittings of the building were finished, more 
than 200 boys were taken in, under the direction of the Christian 
Brothers. On 1 3 March, 1 899, the Courts acceded to the petition 
of J. Percy Keating, Esq., and granted a charter to the institu- 
tion. On 8 March, 1902, additional ground of 99 acres, 44 
perches, and the Fatland Island, in the Schuylkill River, were 
purchased for $8,606. In September of 1905 a new wing was 
added to the building, and now work is progressing on the building 
of new shops, needed for the better instruction of the boys in me- 
chanics. The building, which accommodates five hundred boys, 
perfectly equipped with school furniture and apparatus for instruc- 
tion in trades, represents a total value of $750,000, completely 
paid for. It has admirably served as an asylum in which homeless 


boys are taught their religion, and are trained in mind and body, 
and where they receive a thorough knowledge of trades that will 
support them in manhood. Since the inception .of the work nearly 
2500 boys have been sheltered within its walls. No word concern- 
ing the Protectory would be complete without proper credit being 
paid to the tireless efforts with which the Advisory Board, con- 
sisting of Bishop Prendergast, Mgr. James F. Loughlin, and the 
now deceased Rev. Thomas J. Barry, assisted the Archbishop 
and brought his plan to completion. The Protectory is permanently 
supported by an economic arrangement whereby each parish pays 
an annual assessment according to its resources. 

Among the most notable events of Archbishop Ryan's admin- 
istration must be reckoned the consecration of Philadelphia priests 
as Bishops. The first of these occurred 25 February, 1892, when 
the Rev. Ignatius F. Horstmann, D. D., Chancellor of the Diocese, 
was consecrated Bishop of Cleveland, Ohio. Not for more than a 
quarter of a century, when Bishops O'Hara and Shanahan were 
consecrated Bishops of Scranton and Harrisburg, had the Cathedral 
been the scene of such a ceremony. 1 During the two months in 
which the people of Philadelphia knew of the honor that had been 
conferred on the Chancellor of the Diocese, preparations had been 
made for the consecration. Admission to the Cathedral was by 
ticket, and the great building was filled at an early hour. The 
Archbishop presided over the ceremonies, attended by the Rev. 
John E. Fitzmaurice, D. D., as Archdeacon, and the Rev. E. F. 
Prendergast, rector of St. Malachy's, and the Rev. John B. Maus, 
rector of the Sacred Heart Church, Allentown, as Deacons of 
Honor. Archbishop Elder of Cincinnati was the consecrating 
prelate, assisted by Bishops O'Hara and Chatard. 

Five years afterwards, on the same date, the Feast of St. 
Matthias, 24 February, 1897, the Cathedral was filled again with 
clergy and laity, to do honor to one of the most respected and 
esteemed priests of the Diocese, by being present at his consecra- 
tion as Bishop. The Right Rev. E. F. Prendergast, V. G., and 

' The Right Rev. James O'Connor, Bishop of Omaha, in 1872, had been 
privately consecrated in the Seminary Chapel at Overbrook. 


pastor of St. Malachy's Church, had been selected by Pope 
Leo XIII as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadel- 
phia, with the title of Bishop of Scillio. All Philadelphia rejoiced 
at the honor which had come to one who so well deserved it, and who 
in the years since his consecration has proved himself so efficient 
in the conduct of Church affairs. Cardinal Gibbons presided over 
the ceremonies from the throne, attended by the Rev. P. J. Garvey, 
D. D., rector of St. James's, and the Rev. P. J. Dailey, rector 
of the Annunciation. The Archbishop himself acted as conse- 
crating prelate, assisted by Bishops Horstmann and Hoban. 

The new Bishop was born in 1843, at Clonmel, County 
Tipperary, Ireland. At the age of sixteen he came to the United 
States, and entered the old Seminary of St. Charles at Eighteenth 
and Race Streets. On 18 November, 1865, he was ordained to 
the priesthood by Bishop Wood. His first mission was curate at 
St. Paul's with Father Sheridan, and afterwards he ministered 
in Susquehanna County. His successes there caused Bishop Wood 
to appoint him to St. Mark's, Bristol, where he built a church. 
He was then transferred to Allentown, and built the church there. 
In February, 1874, he was appointed rector of St. Malachy's. 
His powers of administration were soon recognized by Archbishop 
Ryan and he was one of the first appointments to the Board of 
Consultors of the Diocese, and shortly afterwards he was appointed 
Vicar General. On 1 7 November, 1 890, his Silver Jubilee in the 
Priesthood was celebrated by the people of St. Malachy's parish. 
When the work of the Protectory was projected, it was on Bishop 
Prendergast's prudent counsels mainly that the Archbishop relied 
for the materializing of the work he contemplated. The event 
justified this trust. To every priest in the Diocese Bishop Prender- 
gast is a personal friend, and one with the Archbishop in all matters 
of church polity, so that to him is due just credit for the prosperity 
of the See. 

On 14 April, 1897, the Archbishop completed twenty-five 
years as a Bishop. Such an unusual event merited proper celebra- 
tion, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for several months had 
been preparing for this Silver Jubilee. As the anniversary occurred 

Titular Bishop of Scillio and Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia. 


during Holy Week, the public commemoration was postponed until 
a week later. On Tuesday, 20 April, the celebration began with 
a parade through the city streets of nearly 10,000 boys, pupils of 
the Parish Schools of the Archdiocese. The procession was re- 
viewed by the Jubilarian, and the boys then passed into the Cathe- 
dral, where the venerable prelate made an address and gave Bene- 
diction of the Blessed Sacrament. In the afternoon of the same 
day the girls of the Parish Schools held their celebration in the 
Academy of Music. The different Religious Orders of Sisters 
in charge of the schools had prepared each a part of the program, 
and the exercises were a most memorable success. The scene itself 
in the great Academy, filled from pit to dome with children 
whose eager faces and outbursts of joy testified their love for the 
Archbishop, who smiled benignly on the assemblage from one of 
the stage boxes, surrounded by distinguished members of the Hier- 
archy, was inspiring. On Wednesday of the same week the 
Cathedral was made the theatre of the religious celebration. Sol- 
emn Pontifical Mass was celebrated by the Archbishop. The 
sermon was preached by Archbishop Hennessy, of Dubuque, who 
had been a fellow curate of Archbishop Ryan's in St. Louis, and 
who had preached at his episcopal consecration twenty-five years be- 
fore. All the priests of the Diocese who could possibly be present, 
a delegation of clergy from St. Louis, and a large number of the 
Bishops and Archbishops of the country added to the impressiveness 
of the scene. At the close of the Mass addresses were made in 
the name of the clergy and laity of Philadelphia, and the clergy of 
St. Louis. In the evening of the same day, more than 26,000 
men representing the parishes of the Archdiocese marched on Broad 
Street under the direction of General E. De V. Morrell. They 
were reviewed by the Archbishop from a stand on North Broad 
Street, in front of the Catholic High School. On Friday of the 
Jubilee Week, the Archbishop gave a reception in the Cathedral 
Chapel, to the representatives of the Religious Orders of the Dio- 
cese, and in the evening he held a public reception at the Academy 
of Music. More than 1 2,000 people, Catholics and non-Catholics, 
passed before the Archbishop, to take his hand and to speak a 
word of greeting. 


On 24 February, 1 898, in the midst of a brilliant assemblage, 
another Philadelphia priest was elevated to the dignity of the epis- 
copate. The aged Bishop of Erie had applied to the Pope for a 
Co-adjutor, and the choice of the Holy See fell on the Very Rev. 
John E. Fitzmaurice, D. D., rector of St. Charles Seminary, Over- 
brook. Archbishop Ryan was the consecrator. The assisting con- 
secrating prelates were the Right Rev. Ignatius F. Horstmann, 
D. D., and the Right Rev. Edmond F. Prendergast, D. D. 
Bishop Hoban of Scranton preached. Three hundred priests rep- 
resenting the Dioceses of Philadelphia and Erie were present. 

Bishop Fitzmaurice was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 
1839. At the age of eighteen he came to the United States and 
entered St. Charles's Seminary. He was ordained in 1862, and 
was stationed for three years in St. John's Church, Thirteenth and 
Chestnut Streets, when he was appointed by Archbishop Wood 
to organize the parish of St. Agatha's, in West Philadelphia. He 
completed the church properties and remained there, beloved by 
his people, until 1886 when he was appointed rector of the Semi- 
nary, a position which he held with honor and dignity for eleven 
years, until he was summoned by the Holy Father to enter the 
ranks of the successors of the Apostles. 

Exactly one year after Bishop Fitzmaurice's consecration, 24 
February, 1899, the Archbishop received the Papal Brief appoint- 
ing the Rev. John W. Shanahan, rector of Our Mother of Sorrows 
Church and Superintendent of Parish Schools, to the See of Har- 
risburg, the first Bishop of which had been his brother, Bishop 
Jeremiah Shanahan. Father Shanahan protested against the ap- 
pointment that would make him exchange his highly organized 
parish and devoted flock for the anxieties and trials of administering 
a diocese, but finally he submitted. On 1 May, 1899, he was 
consecrated in the Philadelphia Cathedral by Archbishop Ryan, 
assisted by Bishop Horstmann and Bishop Prendergast. The 
sermon was preached by the Right Rev. Monsignor James F. 
Loughlin, D. D. 

Bishop Shanahan was born at Friendsville, Susquehanna 
County, Pa., in 1847. He studied his classics in St. Joseph's Col- 


lege near his home, and afterwards in Glen Riddle Seminary. 
After finishing his studies in the Theological Seminary of St. 
Charles, Eighteenth and Race Streets, he was ordained priest, 2 
January, 1869, by his brother, Bishop Jeremiah Shanahan. For 
several months he served in the Diocese of Harrisburg, and was 
then recalled to Philadelphia and appointed curate at Pottstown, 
and afterwards at St. John's, Manayunk. In 1878 he was trans- 
ferred to Easton and then to St. Michael's. After three years in 
the latter place he was appointed to the charge of Our Mother of 
Sorrows. During his eighteen years there his work established 
the parish in the foremost place in the Diocese. As Superintendent 
of Schools for more than four years, he systematized the studies 
and improved school conditions, and in his administration of the 
Diocese of Harrisburg he has continued his effective work. 

Philadelphia has always been deeply and substantially con- 
cerned in the affairs of the American College at Rome from its 
beginning, when Bishop Wood had a leading part in its establish- 
ment, and the students in that institution from Philadelphia have 
always reflected credit on their diocese and their college. The 
Rev. A. J. Schulte, of the Overbrook Seminary, who had been 
Vice Rector, was in charge of the College from 8 February, 1 884, 
until Mgr. Denis O'Connell's appointment in June, 1885; and in 
1901 the honor of presiding over the college came again to a Phila- 
delphia priest. On 1 7 June, 1901, the Rev. Thomas F. Kennedy, 
D. D., an alumnus of the American College and Professor of Dog- 
matic Theology at Overbrook, was appointed rector of the College 
in Rome. Dr. Kennedy started at once for the scene of his future 
duties and in December of 1901 he had so well acquitted himself 
in that post that he was raised to the rank of Domestic Prelate with 
the title of Monsignor, and two years afterwards was appointed 
Protonotary Apostolic. During the years Monsignor Kennedy has 
occupied his important position he has justified his appointment by 
the prudent and wise course he has followed in administering the 
multifarious duties that go with the office. Not only has he been 
successful in administering the college business by making valuable 
additions to the College property in Rome and its country-seat in 


the suburbs, but his urbanity and uniform kindness have brought 
distinction to his position from the ever-increasing number of Ameri- 
can tourists who go to him as the American representative of the 
Church in Rome. In 1907 the Holy Father, Pope Pius X, testi- 
fied his appreciation of Monsignor Kennedy's work by appointing 
him Titular Bishop of Adrianapolis. On 29 December, 1 907, the 
ceremony of consecration took place in the Chapel of the American 
College. The consecrating prelate was Cardinal Gotti, Prefect of 
the Propaganda, with Archbishop Riordan of San Francisco and 
Bishop Giles as Assistants. 

Bishop Kennedy was born in Conshohocken, Pa., in 1857, 
and received his early education in the parish school of his native 
town. Having completed his classical course at Overbrook Sem- 
inary, he was sent to the American College in Rome to continue 
his studies, and there was ordained priest, 24 June, 1 887, by Cardi- 
nal Parocchi. On his return to Philadelphia he was appointed 
Professor in Overbrook Seminary and for eight years filled the 
office also of Vice-Rector. At the end of the year 1908 Bishop 
Kennedy paid a visit to Philadelphia to be present at the celebra- 
tion of the Golden Jubilee of the marriage of his parents, and among 
the complimentary entertainments given in his honor was a banquet 
at the Bellevue-Stratford, 12 January, 1909, which was attended 
by Archbishop Ryan, Bishop Prendergast, and over two hundred 
of the diocesan and regular clergy. 

A notable event in the history of the Diocese was the con- 
nexion of Philadelphia with the far-off Philippine Islands, by the 
selection of a Philadelphia priest as Bishop of one of the Dioceses 
there. As a result of the Spanish-American War, the United 
States had acquired, by purchase, the Philippine Islands, and it 
seemed providential that there should be injected into the life of the 
Catholic Church in the Philippines American energy. Since the 
prevailing religion of the Philippines is Catholic, and as Spanish 
rule had become offensive to the Filipinos, the preservation of the 
faith and the success of the Church needed the robust Catholicism 
of the American churchman to aid in the rehabilitation. On 7 
April, 1903, announcement was made that the Rev. Dennis J. 
Dougherty, D. D., had been named by the Holy See as Bishop 


of Nueva Segovia, with the episcopal seat at Vigan, Luzon, Phil- 
ippine Islands. This is one of the old Spanish sees, and had been 
erected in 1595, by Clement VIII. Vigan is about twenty-five 
miles north of Manila. The Catholic population of the Diocese 
numbers 997,629, and there are 110 parishes, provided with 26 
parish missions, and 35 active missions, attended by 171 parish 
priests, and 131 native priests. 

Bishop Dougherty was born 1 6 August, 1 865, at Girardville, 
Pa. He attended the Jesuit College of St. Mary's at Montreal, 
and entered St. Charles Seminary, Overbrook, in 1 881 . In 1 884 he 
was chosen to represent the Philadelphia Diocese in the American 
College at Rome, where he received the degree of Doctor of Di- 
vinity, and was ordained priest, 31 May, 1890, by Cardinal 
Parocchi. Having returned to Philadelphia, Dr. Dougherty was 
appointed Professor of Theology in the Seminary at Overbrook. 
He was one of the Synodal Examiners of the Diocese, and Pro- 
curator Fiscalis, and was widely known as a writer and preacher. 
Shortly after having received the Bulls of appointment to Nueva 
Segovia, the Bishop-elect proceeded to Rome, where he was con- 
secrated 14 June, 1903, by Cardinal Satolli, in the Church of 
SS. John and Paul. Thirty of the students from the American 
College were present. Having been received in audience by the 
Holy Father, Bishop Dougherty returned to America, and con- 
vinced of the need of American priests to co-operate with him in 
his great work, secured as volunteers to accompany him to the 
Philippines the Revs. James J. Carroll, John B. McGinley, D. D., 
Daniel Gerke, James P. McCloskey, and Edgar W. Cook. This 
apostolic band departed from Philadelphia 24 August, 1903, and 
arrived at Manila 6 October, where they were received by Arch- 
bishop Guido, Apostolic Delegate to the Philippines. Two years 
afterwards all the above-named priests, excepting Father Carroll, 
returned to the United States, having completed their work of 
assisting Bishop Dougherty in establishing new conditions in his 
Diocese, and the Diocesan Seminary of Nueva Segovia having 
been put in charge of the Jesuits. In the year following Father 
Carroll was raised to the rank of Domestic Prelate with the title 
of Monsignor. 


Bishop Dougherty had many difficulties to encounter in the re- 
construction of religion in his new field of labor, not the least of 
which was the machinations of the schismatic priest Aglipay and 
his followers. With consummate tact the American Bishop over- 
came all obstacles and placed the Church on a solid basis. In 
1908, Bishop Rooker's death left vacant the See of Jaro, where 
conditions needed just such an effective administrator as Bishop 
Dougherty had proved himself to be, and the latter was therefore 
translated to Jaro. Monsignor James J. Carroll was nominated 
as Bishop of Nueva Segovia, and on 4 February, 1909, was con- 
secrated Bishop in the Cathedral at Manila. Archbishop Ambrose 
Agius, the Apostolic Delegate, officiated as consecrator, assisted 
by Archbishop Harty of Manila and Bishop Dougherty of Jaro. 

Bishop Carroll was born at Portland, Maine, in 1863, but 
at an early age removed to St. Clair, Schuylkill County, Pa. He 
received his classical and ecclesiastical education at Overbrook 
Seminary, and was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Ryan, 
15 June, 1889. He was one of the first students at the Catholic 
University of America, in Washington, D. C, and was for several 
years before his departure for the Philippines a Professor at Over- 

The eighth day of September, 1903, marked the fiftieth anni- 
versary of Archbishop Ryan's ordination to the priesthood. The 
Archbishop at first refused to permit any celebration of the event, 
but finally consented with the provision that no personal offering 
would be made to himself. As the Orphan Asylum of St. Vincent 
de Paul, at Eighteenth and Wood Streets, had become inadequate 
to accommodate the inmates, the Auxiliary Bishop and the clergy 
decided that a fitting commemoration of the Archbishop's Golden 
Jubilee, in the spirit of his own charitable life, would be to provide 
the Diocese with a new St. Vincent's Home. A very suitable 
building, surrounded with ample grounds, had recently been vacated 
at Twentieth and Race Streets, when the Philadelphia Asylum 
for the Blind was removed to Overbrook. It was therefore ar- 
ranged to purchase this through the agency of Mr. Peter F. Kernan 
at a very reasonable price. 


The Executive Committee, consisting of Bishop Prendergast, 
Dr. Garvey, the Revs. James P. Turner, James P. Sinnott, John F. 
McQuade, Gerald P. Coghlan, and James J. Fitzmaurice, devised 
plans for securing the necessary funds for the purchase. At a 
public meeting of the laity, the sum of $30,000 was subscribed, 
and a committee of fifty-seven priests visited the various parishes 
and received contributions. So successful was the systematic work 
of the Committee that $175,000 was contributed in less than four 
months, and the remainder of the needed $200,000 was received 
and the purchase of the property effected, before the date of the 
Jubilee. In accordance with the Archbishop's wish, the celebration 
was as simple as was consistent with his exalted position. 

On the Jubilee day, 8 September, 1903, a Solemn Pontifical 
Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral by the Archbishop himself. 
The Cathedral, always beautiful, was softened into added beauty 
by the skill of florist and electrician. In spite of the inclement 
weather, a great concourse of people gathered long before the ap- 
pointed hour, and the Cathedral was filled in pew and aisle. At 
10 o'clock a long procession of clergy, regular and secular, num- 
bering almost 500, proceeded from the Chapel, and an illustrious 
array of the Hierarchy, including the Papal Delegate, Archbishop 
Falconio. The members of the Hierarchy who did honor to the 
Archbishop by attending the celebration were: Archbishops Dio- 
mede Falconio, Apostolic Delegate to the United States; Elder, of 
Cincinnati; Moeller, Co-adjutor of Cincinnati; Farley, of New 
York; Christie, of Oregon; Glennon, Co-adjutor of St. Louis; 
Harty, of Manila, P. I. ; Bishops McQuaid of Rochester, Bradley 
of Manchester, Janssen of Belleville, 111., Foley of Detroit, Hen- 
nessy of Wichita, Bevan of Springfield, Donahue of Wheeling, Mc- 
Faul of Trenton, Allen of Mobile, Cunningham of Concordia, 
Northrop of Charleston, Leo Haid, O. S. B., of North Carolina, 
Burke of Albany, Horstmann of Cleveland, O'Connell of Portland, 
Burke of St. Joseph, Mo., Dunne of Dallas, Muldoon, Auxiliary 
Bishop of Chicago, Monaghan of Wilmington, Prendergast, Auxil- 
iary Bishop of Philadelphia, Fitzmaurice of Erie, Shanahan of Har- 
risburg, Hoban of Scranton, Garvey of Altoona, Canevin, Co- 


adjutor of Pittsburg. Bishop Horstmann of Cleveland preached 
the sermon. After the Mass the Chancellor of the Diocese, the 
Very Rev. James P. Turner, V. G., ascended the pulpit, and in a 
graceful address presented to the Archbishop the magnificent gift 
of the Diocese, the new St. Vincent's Home for Orphans, as a 
splendid commemoration of the great event celebrated so joyfully 
by priests and people that day. At the conclusion of Dr. Turner's 
address, Anthony A. Hirst, Esq., entered the sanctuary, and in 
the name of the laity delivered an address of congratulation to the 
Archbishop. To these addresses the Archbishop responded in his 
always eloquent manner, and there seemed no dimming of the lustre 
of his wonderful gift of oratory, as in his deep, rich voice, he 
thanked Almighty God for the great gift of fifty golden years, and 
in the happiest phrases complimented the prelates present, and paid 
loving tribute to the officers of the Diocese, and ended with a heart- 
felt appreciation of the clergy and laity. 

On Tuesday evening a public reception was tendered the 
Archbishop in the Cathedral. This gave the people an opportunity 
not only to pay their respects to the Archbishop, but to enjoy the 
beautiful floral decorations of the Cathedral. On Wednesday the 
last of the public celebrations was held in the Cathedral, when 
5,000 of the Parish School children were assembled, accompanied 
by the teachers of the various Orders. The Archbishop was at- 
tended by the Rev. P. R. McDevitt, and the Rev. Hugh T. 
Henry, Litt. D., Rector of the High School. Mr. Louis Joseph 
Moore, of the Class of 1 903 of the Catholic High School, delivered 
an address on behalf of the children, to which the Archbishop re- 
sponded. The function ended with Benediction of the Blessed 
Sacrament by the Archbishop, assisted by the Rev. John J. McCort, 
and the Rev. John F. Lynch. 

In May, 1905, Archbishop Ryan went to Rome for the 
ad limina visit to the Holy Father that is required of every Ordinary 
at least once every ten years. During this official visit a detailed re- 
port of the spiritual and temporal condition of the See is made. The 
report of the Diocese of Philadelphia, illustrated with photographs 
of churches and institutions, showed the remarkable progress made 

Prot. Ap., Chancellor. 


by the Church, and its high standing in the popular esteem. A 
material index of the condition of the Diocese was the presentation 
of the faithful's offering of Peter Pence, amounting to $30,000.00. 

On 18 August, 1905, a signal testimony to the Holy Father's 
appreciation of Philadelphia was received in the form of the official 
documents conferring honor on the Diocese by appointing as Do- 
mestic Prelates, with the title of Monsignor, the Rev. James P. 
Turner, D. D,. Chancellor and Vicar General; the Rev. P. J. 
Garvey, D. D., Rector of the Seminary; and the Revs. James J. 
Fitzmaurice, rector of St. Michael's and William Heinen, Vicar 
Forane and rector of Mauch Chunk. To the Rev. Father Mc- 
Cabe and the Rev. Herman J. Heuser, Professors in Overbrook 
Seminary, was given the title of Doctor of Divinity. In July fol- 
lowing, after the Archbishop's return, these reverend gentlemen 
were solemnly invested with the insignia of their dignity in the 
Cathedral. The action of the Holy Father in thus testifying his 
regard for Philadelphia was very much appreciated. Only three 
times before, and each separated by long intervals, had Philadel- 
phia clergymen been so honored. Mgr. Corcoran, of Overbrook 
Seminary; Mgr. Cantwell, Vicar General and rector of St. Philip's 
Church, and Mgr. James F. Loughlin, D. D., who was promoted 
to the honor while Chancellor of the Diocese, at the Silver Jubilee 
of his priesthood, December, 1 899. Early in 1 906 the Pope added 
still further to the honors already conferred by promoting Mon- 
signors Turner and Garvey to the rank of Protonotary Apostolic 
with the privilege of wearing the episcopal mitre on occasion; and 
the Rev. Nevin F. Fisher, rector of St. John's and the Rev. William 
Kieran, D. D., rector of St. Patrick's were appointed Domestic 
Prelates, with the title of Monsignor. 

For some years before 1 907 a large number of Greek Catho- 
lics had been coming to the United States from Galicia and Hun- 
gary attracted by the industrial conditions in the coal regions of 
Pennsylvania, and the manufactories in the large cities. As there 
were very few priests of the Greek Rite in the United States many 
of the people fell an easy prey to the machinations of the Orthodox 
(Russian) Greek Church. Using the same liturgical language 


and the same ceremonies, and differing in doctrine only from the 
Uniat Greeks by denying the Supremacy of the Pope, it was com- 
paratively easy for the emissaries of the Czar to secure many con- 
verts from a people in most cases too ignorant to distinguish between 
the true Church and the schismatic. The vast majority, however, 
remained faithful, cut off though they were by difference of lan- 
guage and liturgy from the Catholics who surrounded them, and 
these petitioned the Holy See for priests of their own Rite. As 
soon as the Pope understood the condition of affairs, he took steps 
to apply the remedy by appointing a Greek Bishop who would 
have direct supervision over the members of the Greek Church in 
the United States and, by organizing parishes and providing lawful 
pastors, would forestall the attempts of the enemy to pervert the 
true believers. For this position the Rev. Soter Stephen Ortynsky, 
a member of the Order of St. Basil the Great, was selected. 

Bishop Ortynsky was born in Ordynice, Galicia, Austria, in 
1866, and was ordained priest in 1891. On 12 May, 1907, he 
was consecrated Bishop in Lemberg, Austria, by the Ruthenian 
Metropolitan Archbishop Andreas Szeptycky, assisted by the Ar- 
menian Archbishop Joseph Theodorewicz, the Latin Archbishop 
Joseph Bilczewski, and the Bishop of Premysl, Austria. Bishop 
Ortynsky arrived in the United States in August, 1907, and made 
his residence in Philadelphia, where he took charge of the Church 
of St. Michael the Archangel at Ninth and Buttonwood Streets. 
In the early part of 1 909 the Bishop purchased St. Jude's Protest- 
ant Episcopal Church on Franklin Street above Brown Street, and 
the rectory adjoining, for $36,000. The building was dedicated to 
divine worship in February of 1 909, under the title of the Immacu- 
late Conception. About 2,000 of the 4,000 Ruthenian Greeks in 
Philadelphia are members of this Congregation. The Revs. Lucas 
Bielansky and Valentine Gorzo assist the Bishop in ministering to 
the spiritual wants of the congregation, and reside with him. 

Bishop Ortynsky's charge includes the supervision of the more 
than 300,000 Ruthenian Greeks in the United States, who are 
ministered to by 116 priests. Mass is said in the old Slavic lan- 
guage, which bears about the same relation to the vernacular Ruthe- 
nian as Latin does to Italian. 


The centennial of the partition of the Diocese of Baltimore 
into the five Dioceses of Philadelphia, Boston, Bardstown, New 
York, and Baltimore, with the latter as the Archiepiscopal See, fell 
on 8 April, 1908. Although the Bishop of New York, Luke 
Concanen, was the only Suffragan consecrated at the time, and the 
misfortunes that overtook him after his consecration in Rome pre- 
vented the Papal Bulls, appointing the others, from reaching Amer- 
ica until 1810, when the other Suffragans were consecrated, yet 
each of the above-named Dioceses prepared for a centenary cele- 
bration in 1908. As the exact date of the Papal Act, 8 April, 
occurred during Lent, the Centenary celebration in Philadelphia 
was postponed until Easter-week. 

The programme as carefully arranged by the diocesan officials 
covered all the week, and on Easter Sunday, 19 April, in all the 
churches of the Diocese, the first stage of the celebration, consisting 
of sermon and the singing of the Te Deum, was begun. OnTues- 
day evening a reception was tendered the Archbishop and the 
visiting Prelates by the laity of the city, in the ball-room of the 
Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. On Wednesday morning the great cen- 
tral function of the Centenary, around which clustered the other 
celebrations, took place in the Cathedral. The splendidly-propor- 
tioned edifice had been thoroughly renovated, and its beauty of 
architecture was never seen to better advantage than in the mag- 
nificent floral and electric decorations for the centenary. The 
vast number of people, densely packed within and without the 
Cathedral, seemed as mighty banks beside the stream of ecclesi- 
astics which wound its way in solemn procession, under the trees 
of Logan Square, and up the vista of the gorgeously-decorated 
Cathedral to the spacious sanctuary, with the great altar gleaming 
with its thousands of lights, the beautiful display of rare plants 
and flowers, and the thrones in ecclesiastical precedence for the 
Cardinal, the Apostolic Delegate, the Archbishops, and Bishops. 
Pontifical Mass was sung by His Excellency, the Most Rev. Dio- 
mede Falconio, Apostolic Delegate, assisted by the Right Rev. 
Mgr. Turner, D. D., V. G., and with the Revs. John F. Mc- 
Quade, rector of the Cathedral as deacon, and Chas. F. Kavanagh, 


Secretary to the Archbishop, as sub-deacon. The Prelates who 
added distinction to the celebration were His Eminence James Car- 
dinal Gibbons and His Excellency Archbishop Joseph Aversa, 
Apostolic Delegate to Cuba and Porto Rico; Archbishop Farley 
of New York, and Bishops Prendergast, Fitzmaurice, Shanahan, 
Hoban, Garvey, Horstmann, Monaghan, McFaul, Northrop, 
Kenny, Donahue, Guertin, Bevan, Davis, Scannell, McDonnell, 
Colton, Gabriels, Hickey, Koudelka, O'Connell, the Greek Bishop- 
elect Ortynsky, and Yasbek, the Maronite Chor-bishop ; Monsignori 
P. J. Garvey, D. D., Prot. Ap., James F. Loughlin, D. D., 
Nevin Fisher, William Kieran, D. D., Wm. Heinen, Vic. For., 
Lavelle, Magennis, Barrett, Koch, Benton, Coffey, Sheridan, Kit- 
tell, Corretti; also M. J. Geraty, O. S. A., John P. Murphy, 
C. S. Sp., Joseph F. Hanselman, S. J., William G. Lucking, 

C. SS. R., Patrick McHale, C. M., C. H. McKenna, O. P., 
B. Oldegeering, O. F. M., E. R. Dyer, S. S., A. C. Zimmerman, 

D. D., M. S. C. The music of the Mass was sung by the Over- 
brook seminarians, directed by Rev. Hugh T. Henry, Litt. D. The 
sermon was preached by Right Rev. Eugene Garvey, Bishop of 

The visiting prelates and clergy were the guests of the Arch- 
bishop of Philadelphia at dinner in the Cahill High School. The 
Right Rev. P. J. Garvey, D. D., presided, and the following 
addresses were made: "Our Holy Father, P. Pius X," by Arch- 
bishop Falconio; "Our Sister Jubilarians," by Archbishop Farley; 
"Our Guests," by Bishop McFaul; "The Province of Philadel- 
phia," by Bishop Hoban; "The Bishops Who Have Ruled Us," 
by Bishop Horstmann; "Our Clergy," by Bishop Prendergast; 
"Our Laity," by Bishop Canevin ; "Our Priests in the Episcopate," 
by Bishop Fitzmaurice; "The Religious in the Country and the 
Diocese," by Rev. John J. Wynne, S. J. At the conclusion Arch- 
bishop Ryan made a most eloquent address in the name of Phila- 

On Wednesday evening Pontifical Vespers were sung by 
Bishop Horstmann of Cleveland, assisted by the Right Rev. Will- 
iam Kieran, D. D., and the Revs. M. J. Crane and Fen ton Fitz- 


patrick, deacon and sub-deacon. The sermon was delivered by 
Right Rev. James F. Loughlin, D. D. 

Thursday morning saw the great Cathedral filled with thou- 
sands of school children, representatives from every parish in the 
city, gathered to celebrate their part of the Centenary. Master 
James Charles Devers of the High School delivered the address in 
the name of the children, and the Archbishop replied in fitting 
words. The Rev. P. R. McDevitt, Superintendent of Parish 
Schools, and Bishop Horstmann, made addresses to the children 
appropriate to the occasion. The children then sang the Jubilee 
Hymn composed by the Rev. Hugh T. Henry, Litt. D., and the 
ceremonies concluded with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament 
by the Archbishop. 

On Thursday night the Knights of Columbus contributed their 
share in the Centenary by a brilliant banquet in the ball-room of 
the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. The Archbishop and visiting 
Bishops, Governor Stuart of Pennsylvania, Mayor Reyburn of 
Philadelphia, and many prominent Catholics of the country were 
the guests of the Knights, over five hundred in number, who listened 
eagerly to the speakers, introduced by the presiding officer, Michael 
J. Ryan, Esq. Archbishop Ryan in his usual eloquent manner 
made a masterly address on the duty of the Knights of Columbus 
in furthering the work of the Church. The set addresses of the 
evening were: "The Faith of Our Fathers," by Bishop Hoban of 
Scranton ; "Our Country," by Attorney General Chas. Bonaparte ; 
"American Catholics," by Supreme Court Justice Dowling of New 
York ; "Our State," by Supreme Court Justice Head of Pennsylva- 
nia; "Colonial Catholics," by Dr. Lawrence Flick; "Our Charities" 
by the Hon. Jos. Lamorelle, Judge of the Orphan's Court; "Re- 
ligion and Science," by Dr. Herbert Northrop; "Our Guests," by 
Bishop Donahue; "Our Home," by James Flaherty, Esq., Deputy 
Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. 

On Friday night the celebration of the week was closed by 
a grand popular demonstration in the Academy of Music. The 
great building was filled with an enthusiastic audience. On the 
stage were assembled a large number of clergymen, the speakers of 


the evening, the presiding officer, Walter George Smith, Esq., and 
Bishops Prendergast, Horstmann, Fitzmaurice, and the Archbishop. 
The following addresses were made: "The Past, Present, and 
Hopes of the Future," by Walter George Smith; "The Clergy," 
by Monsignor Loughlin; "The Immigrant," by Michael J. Ryan; 
"A Century of Charity," by Monsignor Turner; "A Century of 
Progress in Education," by the Rev. P. R. McDevitt; "Phila- 
delphia as a Leader in Total Abstinence," by J. Washington Logue, 
Esq.; "Philosophy of the Church's Work from a Layman's Stand- 
point," by J. Percy Keating, Esq.; "The Unity of Faith," by 
Gen. Russell Thayer; "Civil and Religious Liberty in Pennsyl- 
vania," by Dr. Herbert Northrop. At the conclusion of the even- 
ing "The Centennial Ode," by Eleanor C. Donnelly, was read 
by the Rev. Hugh T. Henry, Litt. D. The Archbishop made 
the closing address, summing up the week's celebrations and the 
lessons they taught. 

In the summer of 1 909 work was begun on a notable addition 
to the Seminary at Overbrook. The building will be connected 
with the main building on its western side. It will consist of a 
fireproof library, a well-equipped gymnasium, and a spacious audi- 

Twenty-five years ago, on 20 August, Archbishop Ryan came 
to Philadelphia to take charge of the Diocese. He was known by 
reputation to priests and people as the leading orator of the Church 
in America. Only a few knew him personally, but a Christian 
Bishop is never a stranger in a Christian community, and the whole 
city arose to greet him and bid him welcome. To-day there is none 
in the great city of Philadelphia who does not know the Catholic 
Archbishop. The twenty-five years of his dwelling here have 
silvered the greetings that were extended to him into the tenderest 
bonds of affection and respect. Nor is this confined to members of 
the Catholic Church. Philadelphians, whatever their creed, know 
that a man like Archbishop Ryan, standing always with its best 
citizens for right, is a powerful factor in the life of the community, 
and therefore to be honored as a public benefactor. His magnetic 
personality and unfailing amiability have won the sincere esteem 


of all with whom he has come in contact. At each of the anni- 
versaries and commemorations celebrated during the Archbishop's 
occupancy of the See of Philadelphia the press of the city and 
country have made the occasion an opportunity for the expression 
of the highest encomiums of him as churchman and public-spirited 
citizen. The bond of union between the Archbishop and his own, 
both clergy and laity, is too sacred to be put in words. To each he 
is father and friend. From the humblest to the highest each feels 
a personal pride in the greatness and goodness of their superior, and 
with a child's pride in the honors of its father, each glows at the 
well-merited praise and respect meted out to him. They have 
moreover a holier and more precious bond in the faith that makes 
all see in him the living successor to the Apostles, with their talents 
and their virtues. 

The twenty-five years of his rule in Philadelphia have justi- 
fied the choice made by the Holy Father in appointing Patrick 
John Ryan to succeed to the See made famous by Kenrick, Neu- 
mann, and Wood, for in his administration he has combined the 
prudent zeal, personal holiness of life, and executive powers of his 
predecessors. That the Catholic Church to-day in Philadelphia 
holds the position befitting such an important part of the body politic 
in numbers and influence, is due in great measure to the personal 
magnetism of the Archbishop, who has known so well how to uphold 
the dignity of his office as Catholic Archbishop with prudence, 
understanding, justice, and fortitude. His broad-minded policy, 
together with his united clergy and devoted and generous laity, have 
given an object-lesson to the community at large of the progress 
of the Church in temporals and spirituals. There is no better 
commentary on the active side of the Archbishop's administration 
than the fact that of the ninety-five parishes in the city, forty-two 
have been established by him, so wisely has he kept the Church 
in touch with the progress of the city and supplied the spiritual 
needs of the Catholic contingent in the increased population. 


Bishop of Harrisburg. 
(Formerly Priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 

A Brief Record of the Development of the Earlier Par- 
ishes to Date, Together With an Account of the 
Parishes Established Between 1884-1909. 

The formation and early history of the older city parishes 
having been noted in the preceding chapters, it remains now only 
to resume the narrative of each parish and complete it up to date 
in the more important events. 

The history of St. Joseph's has been related in the 
**• general narrative as the first public Catholic place 

Soeepb's f worsm p m Philadelphia, and as a chapel wherein 

early service on weekdays was held from the date 
of the erection of St. Mary's, the parish church, in 1 763. During 
the revolt of the Trustees and the unfortunate Father Hogan, those 
loyal to Bishop Conwell clustered about him in the little chapel of 
St. Joseph's, which from that date, 1 82 1 , began its existence as a 
separate parish, and when the death-knell had rung for Hoganism 
and Trusteeism, St. Joseph's remained as a separate parish. To 
accommodate the large number who testified their adherence to 
Bishop Conwell by attending St. Joseph's, the little chapel had been 

From 1800, when the Jesuits left St. Joseph's, until 1833, 
when they returned, its history is marked by the service of the Rev. 
John Hughes, the founder of St. John's Church, and afterwards 
Archbishop of New York, and the Rev. Terence J. Donoghoe, 
who was to become the founder of St. Michael's parish and play 
a prominent part in the critical period of the anti-Catholic riots. 
He afterwards went to the Diocese of Dubuque, Iowa, where the 
little community that he had founded in St. Michael's has devel- 
oped into the largest and most successful teaching Order of women 
in the West. Since 1833, when the Jesuits returned to take charge 
of St. Joseph's, the history of the little parish is a record of the 


lives of the saintly men of the Order who have ministered to the 
congregations that made the hallowed church in Willing's Alley 
a place of pilgrimage. Amongst these may be mentioned the Rev. 
Felix Barbelin, S. J., who for twenty-eight years acted as rector. 
During his pastorate the old church of St. Joseph's, reconstructed 
and enlarged in 1 82 1 , was torn down, and a new St. Joseph's, the 
present church-building, practically a third church erected on the 
old site, was built and consecrated in 1839. The Rev. Peter J. 
Blenkinsop, S. J., and the Rev. Joseph M. Ardia, S. J., succeeded 
as pastors, and during the time of the latter, who was assisted by 
the Rev. P. A. Jordan, S. J., the basement was fitted up as a 
chapel and Sunday-school. Still later, in 1886, the Rev. John 
A. Morgan completely renovated the interior of the church, and 
improved the old school. To these illustrious names the present 
generation adds with devotion the succeeding rectors, Fathers Jerge, 
Scully (twice in charge of the parish since 1891), Father Byrnes, 
and the present rector, the Rev. Samuel Cahill, who by their efficient 
labors have continued the traditions of "Old St. Joseph's." 

In the reign of terror of the summer of 1844, St. 
st * Joseph's and St. Mary's, situated as they were in 

/fcarss t k e cen t re f the populous district, and surrounded 

by valuable properties, were easily defended from 
the prudent fury of the mob, that sought less dangerous objects for 
its hatred. While the Rev. Charles I. H. Carter was pastor of 
the church he established a combined school and academy in con- 
nexion with the parish. In 1847, Father Carter was appointed to 
organize the Assumption parish, and the Rev. George Strobel suc- 
ceeded as rector, remaining until his death in 1872, when the Rev. 
Michael F. Martin, a sturdy character who had been Chaplain of 
the 69th Pennsylvania Volunteers, was transferred from St. James's 
Church and appointed pastor. In 1 877, the Rev. Ignatius F. Horst- 
mann, D. D., the late Bishop of Cleveland, Ohio, took charge of 
the parish, which had deteriorated from its pristine glory as a result 
of the altered character of the neighborhood, which had become 
the financial centre of Philadelphia. After having been the aristo- 
cratic district of the city, on the transfer of the municipal offices 


and the westward movement of the legal and financial lights, the 
district was given over to commerce. Dr. Horstmann by his marvel- 
ous preaching attracted large congregations, and by his prudent ad- 
ministration of church affairs brought back some of its departed pros- 
perity. In 1 886, Dr. Horstmann was appointed Chancellor of the 
Archdiocese, and the Rev. Daniel I. McDermott, the present rec- 
tor, was transferred thither from St. Agnes's, West Chester. His 
first work was to erect the present pastoral residence, in place of the 
old building, which had become uninhabitable. Father McDermott 
also renovated and completely remodeled the church. St. Mary's, 
in the manner of the old church buildings, was orientated, and this 
necessitated the entrance of the congregation at the western end of 
the church, which had its inconveniences. Father McDermott 
moved the handsome marble altars, which had been erected dur- 
ing Dr. Horstmann's pastorate, from the east to the western end of 
the church, and made the entrance at the eastern wall, opening on 
Fourth Street. New stained-glass windows added to the devotional 
atmosphere of the church. 

jft \v As the rancor of the church-burners in 1844 was 

CrinttE directed against the Irish Catholics, the Church of 

Gburcb *^e Holy Trinity at Sixth and Spruce Streets, stood 

unmolested. At that time the Rev. Otto Borgess 
was pastor; he was succeeded by the Rev. Father Skopes, and in 
1846 by the Rev. N. Perin, and in 1849 by the Rev. Daniel 
Oberhaltzer, during whose administration the old Trustee trouble 
and conflict with episcopal authority revived, and was not settled 
until 1859. Bishop Kenrick, in an attempt to remedy the situation 
before his transfer to Baltimore, in 1 85 1 , put the church under the 
care of the Rev. Burchard Villiger, S. J., whose first record in the 
church books is on 4 November, 1 850. Fathers Barbelin and Eck 
were authorized to confer with the Trustees, and arrange terms 
upon which the Jesuits would remain in charge of the church. The 
negotiations proved fruitless, however, and the church remained 
closed, but on 23 April, 1854, the Rev. Peter M. Carbon was 
appointed pastor, and he with Bishop Neumann finally brought 
matters to a successful issue in 1 859, when peace was finally restored 


through legal procedure. The litigation, however, had cost the sum 
of $10,000, the payment of which was imposed on the congrega- 
tion of Holy Trinity. On 23 July, 1 860, the interior of the church 
was destroyed by accidental fire. Father Carbon remained pastor 
until his death in 1871, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Ru- 
dolph Kuentzer, who in 1872 was followed by the Rev. Bernard 
Baumeister. In 1875 the Rev. Henry Schick was appointed pas- 
tor, and remained until 16 February, 1883, when he was trans- 
ferred to St. Alphonsus's, and the Rev. Ernest O. Hiltermann, the 
present rector, was placed in charge of Holy Trinity. During 
Father Schick's administration the church was greatly damaged by 
fire, 7 July, 1880, and again on Christmas Day, 1890, when fire 
broke out after High Mass, and destroyed the interior of the church, 
which had been completely renovated. In spite of this drawback, 
Father Hiltermann's administration has been most successful, and 
besides twice renovating and almost rebuilding the church after the 
fire, he built the present handsome parish school, the corner-stone 
of which was blessed, 25 July, 1 886, by Archbishop Ryan. 

After the destruction of St. Augustine's Church in 
St * the riots of 1844, the Very Rev. John Possidius 

Bugusttne's O'Dwyer, O. S. A., who in that year had suc- 
ceeded the famous Dr. Moriarty as rector, raised 
on the site of the present school-house a chapel which was called 
the Chapel of Our Lady of Consolation, and which was dedicated 
27 October, 1844. In the meantime the congregation of St. Au- 
gustine's worshipped in St. Joseph's Church. Pending the granting 
of damages by the Courts, they prepared for the building of a new 
St. Augustine's. On Sunday, 27 May, 1847, Bishop Kenrick 
blessed the corner-stone of the new edifice, and the Rev. James 
Ryder, S. J., preached the sermon. The present church, which 
was opened for services on Christmas Day, 1 847, is erected exactly 
on the site of the old one. The church was consecrated, being 
entirely free of debt, 5 November, 1848, by Bishop Kenrick, the 
sermon being preached by Bishop Hughes of New York. The 
congregation had demanded $83,627.75 damages from the City, 


but after tedious delays and obstacles the Court allowed $47,- 
433.87, on 29 November, 1847. 

Dr. O'Dwyer died 24 May, 1850, at the early age of 34, 
and the Rev. Dr. Patrick Eugene Moriarity, O. S. A., became 
again rector. Dr. Moriarty was considered the greatest orator of 
his day, and his fame as scholar and preacher shed lustre on the 
Order of St. Augustine. In 1855 the Rev. Patrick Augustine 
Stanton, O. S. A., was appointed rector, and in 1857 he was suc- 
ceeded by the Rev. A. A. Mullen, O. S. A., who in 1861 was 
followed by the Rev. Mark Crane, O. S. A., who in turn, 19 
January, 1871, was followed by his brother, the Rev. Peter Crane, 
O. S. A. During his administration the present school-building 
was erected, and in 1883 he made substantial improvements in and 
about the church, erecting practically a new spire, and replacing 
the old cross by a large copper cross. Father Crane, O. S. A., 
was succeeded as rector by the Rev. N. T. Murphy, O. S. A., 
who was followed by C. A. McEvoy, O. S. A. When in 1902 
the latter was elected Provincial and removed to Chestnut Hill, the 
Rev. Daniel D. Regan, the present rector, succeeded him. 

St. $obn Tk e illustrious Father John Hughes, who had 

tbe founded St. John's parish in 1 83 1 , was consecrated 

Evangelist's Co-adjutor Bishop of New York, 7 January, 1 838. 
During his years at St. John's he had given evidence 
of his future great career; his masterful sermons and his famous 
controversy with the Rev. Mr. Breckenridge, made his name re- 
spected throughout the country. On Bishop Hughes's departure 
for his See, Bishop Kenrick removed from St. Mary's, and St. 
John's became the Cathedral of Philadelphia. The Rev. Francis 
X. Gartland was appointed pastor. He made many improvements 
in the completion of the church, and was severely criticized for his 
daring innovation when he introduced illuminating gas. Bishop 
Hughes pathetically protested from New York against the desecra- 
tion of the church by illumination with gas, which, he said, should 
be confined to theatres, and kept from the house of God! The 
pro-Cathedral was the scene of many impressive ceremonies, amongst 


which was the Diocesan Synod, held there 22 May, 1 842. During 
the riots of 1 844 it was preserved from attack by a guard of soldiers 
under Major Dithmar, especially placed by General Patterson. 
It was also protected by its being located near the United States 
Arsenal. In the summer of 1 847 the Bishop removed his residence 
to Eighteenth and Summer Streets, that he might be near the Ca- 
thedral, and personally supervise the work of its erection. In 1 850 
Father Gartland was appointed Bishop of Savannah, and was 
succeeded at St. John's by the then assistant, the Rev. Edward J. 

One of the first acts of Bishop Neumann, who had been ap- 
pointed to succeed Bishop Kenrick, on the latter's removal to the 
See of Baltimore, was the consecration of St. John's Church, 22 
May, 1853. On 10 September, 1855, Bishop Neumann placed 
St. John's Church in charge of the Jesuits, which Society Father 
Sourin had entered on 7 May of that year. The Rev. James 
Ryder, S. J., was appointed pastor. In 1857 he was succeeded by 
the Rev. John J. McGuigan, S. J., and a year later the Rev. John 
Blox, S. J., was appointed rector, and continued in this position 
until his death, 27 April, 1860. The Jesuit Fathers whilst at St. 
John's conducted St. Joseph's College at the corner of Juniper and 
Filbert Streets, in the building which was afterwards used for the 
same purpose by the Christian Brothers and on the site of which 
the new Bulletin Building now stands. 

The funeral services of Bishop Neumann were held in St. 
John's Church, 9 January, 1 860. On 1 6 August of that year the 
Jesuits relinquished charge of St. John's, and the parish was again 
placed in care of diocesan priests. The Rev. John Brannigan of 
St. Patrick's, Pottsville, Pa., was appointed rector. He was 
succeeded in a few weeks by the Rev. John P. Dunn, who had 
been pastor of St. Philip's in 1844, and who in December of that 
year, broken down by the tragic occurrences, went to Europe. 
On his return the following year he was received by Bishop Rey- 
nolds into the Diocese of Charleston, but in 1853 he returned to 
Philadelphia, and was stationed at St. Mary's. In 1855 he was 
appointed pastor at Kellyville, and in 1858 he was transferred to 


St. Teresa's. He continued pastor of St. John's until his death, 
28 December, 1 869, when he was succeeded by the senior assistant 
of the parish, the Rev. Patrick R. O'Reilly. Father O'Reilly com- 
pletely renovated the church building and the new pastoral residence, 
in preparation for the Golden Jubilee of the opening of the church, 
which was held with great solemnity on 16 April, 1882. Bishop 
O'Hara of Scranton celebrated Pontifical Mass, and Bishop Shana- 
han of Harrisburg preached the sermon. In the evening Bishop 
Shanahan sang Pontifical Vespers, and Bishop Martin of Sandhurst, 
Australia, preached the sermon. 

In January, 1887, St. John's was made one of the ten irre- 
movable rectorships of the Archdiocese. Father O'Reilly died 9 
May, 1898, and after the canonical examination the Rev. Hubert 
McPhilomy, who had been pastor of St. Leo's, Tacony, was 
appointed permanent rector of St. John's, 22 September, 1898. 
On 1 6 February, 1 899, a fire in a store on Market Street extended 
to the rectory of St. John's, and entirely destroyed it. It was be- 
lieved that the church had been saved, but the smouldering embers 
caused a fire in the roof of the church, and by daylight the old and 
venerable edifice had become a ruin, with only the walls standing. 
On the following Sunday services were held in Horticultural Hall 
on Broad Street, and at an enthusiastic meeting held at the same 
place in the afternoon, sufficient subscriptions were promised to en- 
courage Father McPhilomy to begin at once the re-building of 
the church and rectory. The priests of St. John's resided at 306 
South Thirteenth Street until the new rectory was built, and service 
was held in the basement of the church. All who had had any con- 
nexion with St. John's, and their name was legion, felt the need of 
repairing this landmark of Catholicity, so that the work of re-build- 
ing the church was prosecuted with such energy that on 7 October, 
1 900, the restored church was reopened for divine service by Arch- 
bishop Ryan. Solemn Pontifical Mass was celebrated by Bishop 
Prendergast. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Daniel I. 
McDermott, rector of St. Mary's. Among the distinguished clergy- 
men present were Bishops Fitzmaurice of Erie, Horstmann of Cleve- 
land, Shanahan of Harrisburg, and Brondell of Helena, Montana. 


Father McPhilomy did not live long after the shock he had 
sustained and the tremendous effort he had exerted in rebuilding 
the church and rectory. He died 23 October, 1901, and as a 
result of the examination, in December, 1901, the present rector, 
the Right Rev. Mgr. Nevin Francis Fisher, who during the six 
years of his rectorship of the Catholic High School resided with the 
priests at St